Getting preschoolers ready for reading has tons of developmental benefits, but it can also be challenging. Mother Goose Club is dedicated to preparing parents for this challenge by breaking down the process and explaining tools and strategies that work. One of the best tools for getting preschoolers ready for reading is nursery rhymes.
Nursery rhymes prepare children for reading by introducing vocabulary, teaching story structure, developing phonemic awareness (the ability to hear the different sounds that make words) and fostering parent-child relationships.
Through memorization, children can learn new words, even if they don’t fully understand the meaning yet. Later on, if they encounter the word in a new context, they will have the context of the nursery rhyme to draw from and compare against. Tongue twisters like “Peter Piper” and “How Many Seashells” introduce new vocabulary and offer opportunities to practice pronunciation using challenging, but fun, themes.
By introducing simple cause-and-effect stories, nursery rhymes develop imagination and prepare children for reading comprehension. Classics such as “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Humpty Dumpty” are two great examples of story-based rhymes. Introducing stories through simple rhymes helps prepare kids for longer and more challenging stories and books.
We admit that some nursery rhymes just sound silly, but even the silliest songs introduce language patterns, inflection, tone and volume. Perhaps most importantly, rhymes allow children to hear how letters and word endings can sound the same. Children who understand these patters will be more prepared for learning to read. Catchy and repetitive music helps form habits of memorization that will become an essential part of a child’s language development and readiness to read.
Finally, nursery rhymes present a valuable opportunity to bond with children through playful and imaginative activities. One of the most important parts of learning anything new is applying what was learned to real life. Through a simple conversation, an outing, a craft or other activity, children deepen their understanding. When children see adults valuing time spent with nursery rhymes, they’ll learn to value that time as well. We hope that our collection of nursery rhymes will inspire you and the children in your life to dance, sing and play along with us!
Mother Goose Club offers an enormous library that includes videos, streamable songs, sheet music lyrics and printable coloring pages – all excellent tools to help your child prepare to read at any age. You can also check out the Mother Goose Club App, available on the App Store and Google Play, for exclusive books, videos and games.