I love nursery rhymes and children’s poetry. When my boys were younger we used to listen to children’s songs and nursery rhymes in the car wherever we went. We used to sing along and I even bought them bells and shakers so that they could join in the music making.
One of Gregory’s favourite nursery rhymes was Aiken Drum, a popular Scottish folk song and nursery rhyme. It is believed to have its origins in a Jacobite song about the Battle of Sherifmuir (1715). You can listen to a version of it here:
I find nursery rhymes very fascinating, particularly when I probe the origins of some of them. Ring a ring o’ Roses, for example, is alleged to have originated from the black plague. A rosy rash was a symptom of the plague and posies of herbs were carried by people as protection and to cover up the smell of the disease. Sneezing or coughing was a symptom once the disease had progressed and then the sick person usually died and so literally “fell down” dead.
I have often wondered, however, whether there are any specific and acknowledged benefits to be derived by small children from listening to nursery rhymes and being read to in rhyming verse. If I think of Dr Seuss books, they are all in rhyming verse and they are always punted as being a really good choice of early readers.
I decided a little bit of investigation was in order, especially, as my own books, co-authored with Michael, are written in rhyming verse. The experts listed the following benefits to singing nursery rhymes to your children and reading to them in rhyming verse:
- Children love the sound of their parents voices, so singing by a caregiver calms and sooths a small child;
- Children enjoy the changes and variation in tone that result from singing and reading in rhyming verse. This helps inspire a love of language in children, thereby naturally increasing their desire to read and write;
- Rhymes help children learn to identify the different sounds that make up a word, how to play with words, change them and pair them together which greatly aids learning how to read;
- When reading in rhyming verse, most readers tend to speak clearly and slowly. This is beneficial to children as they are able to hear the way the words are formed properly;
- Songs and rhymes have a positive impact on children’s language and literacy development;
- Children that participate in singing and telling of nursery rhymes often learn to speak more quickly;
- Rhyming teaches children about word families;
- Rhyming teaches children the patterns and structures in spoken and written language;
- Rhyming helps children learn how to spell as they realise the words that sound similar often share common letter sequences;
- The repetition of rhymes helps build memory capabilities;
- Nursery rhymes or other rhyming stories and tales help preserve your culture and create a bond between generations; children, parents and grandparents; and
- Nursery rhymes and rhyming verse help children to hear a steady beat which researchers believe results in better reading skills.
I thought this was rather an impressive list of benefits and nursery rhymes and stories told in rhyming verse are such fun. So dust off your old nursery rhyme books and grab your Dr Seuss and other rhyming verse books and get going.
Happy reading and singing!
Just as an aside, Puff the magic Dragon is one of the nicest rhyming verse story books I’ve ever read.
About Robbie Cheadle
Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with six published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.
I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.
I have participated in a number of anthologies:
- Two short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Dark Visions, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre;
- Three short stories in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories, edited by Stephen Bentley;
- Three short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Nightmareland, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre; and
- Two short stories in Whispers of the Past, an anthology of paranormal stories, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth.
I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.
Find Robbie Cheadle
Goodreads: Robbie Cheadle – Goodreads
Instagram: Robbie Cheadle – Instagram
Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books
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