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Why are nursery rhymes an important element of child development?

Published: Tuesday, 3rd November 2020

Look out for our #WNRW posts on Twitter and Facebook during World Nursery Rhyme Week 2020 (16 to 20 November)

“If children know 8 nursery rhymes by heart, by the time they are 4 years old, they are usually amongst the best readers and spellers in their class by the time they are 8!" Mem Fox, Reading Magic.

Nursery rhymes help children develop vocabulary, which helps them learn to read! The bouncy rhythm catches the child’s attention. Repetition and familiarity help the child to remember and supports language development, whilst engaging a child fosters social development. 

Singing nursery rhymes are fun ways to entertain children and provide other key benefits alongside communication and language development:

  • Physical development
    Action songs encourage children to develop their fine and gross motor control skills and coordination, and the skills needed to follow simple instructions.
  • Numeracy
    Many rhymes contain counting, helping children to familiarise with numbers in a fun and interesting way.

From 'The animal fair' to 'Humpty Dumpty' to 'Wind the bobbin up', the BBC website (opens in a new window) has an A-Z of 100+ nursery rhymes videos. All videos include the words on screen and a lyric sheet to print out.

For further support with reading, writing and numbers in Reception, observations of learning, outdoor learning environments and play based learning email: or call 01905 844490

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