Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they’re 4 years old, they’re usually among the best readers by the time they’re 8.
There’s a reason we learn nursery rhymes as young children. They help us develop an ear for our language. Rhyme and rhythm highlight the sounds and syllables in words. And understanding sounds and syllables helps kids learn to read!
They come in collections and board books; they are spoken, sang and read aloud. They are a part of our heritage and some of our first memories. Not only are nursery rhymes a pleasure to hear and to share, they provide a building block toward literacy. These ditties, rhymes, and sayings introduce children to the sounds and patterns of our language and give them a repertoire of words they may not hear in everyday conversation.
(Source: Reading Rockets, www.readingrockets.org)
One of my favorite rhymes as a child was “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.” Sing along!
Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full;
One for the master,
And one for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.