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The Benefits of Nursery Rhymes, Including YouTube List

Updated on June 8, 2019

Many parents in the 21st century are unaware of the benefits of nursery rhymes to a growing child. Some think these songs are not beneficial to a child because they are too childish. But, what parents consider childish is in fact beneficial to children. Not only do children enjoy singing and dancing to the tune of nursery rhymes because they are fun but also derive other benefits associated with the activity.

These songs are well-suited to children because of their nature. The major characteristics of nursery rhymes are: repetition of words, rhyming words, alliteration and rhythm of the songs. Children love singing and playing, and there is no better way of exposing them to nursery rhymes than to adult music at an early age. They are not only fun to children (and adults who enjoy them) but also educative. In addition, they aid in the physical, cognitive, emotional, social and language development of a child.


Benefits of Nursery Rhymes

  • Since nursery rhymes comprise repeated words and rhyming words, it’s easier for children to memorize and remember the nursery rhymes. When they memorize and remember the songs, they are engaging their brain functionality in the parts of the brain involved in memorizing and remembering things.
  • They improve the child’s fine and gross motor skills. Children become active when singing nursery rhymes because some of them require the children to engage either their large or small body parts. Fine motor skills involve exercising the small body parts e.g. counting using fingers or holding each other’s hands. Gross motor skills involve movement of large body parts. Some nursery rhymes require children to jump or run which involve the coordination of large body parts such as legs and arms.
  • Through nursery rhymes children learn to make sounds to facilitate formation of words. In class, children are taught how to form sounds of letters and words including numbers. What they learn in class can be reinforced through singing nursery rhymes such as ‘ABC’ song. The child will be able to locate and differentiate sounds when they hear them thus improving their auditory skills.
  • The child learns new vocabulary words which increase their language acquisition. People improve in speaking or writing in a language when they learn new words. It helps in diversifying in a language instead of relying on old words.

The Importance of Nursery Rhymes for Children

  • Through nursery rhymes, a child learns to listen how words are pronounced and how they sound like.
  • They improve usage of mathematical terms or concepts chief among them counting. A child learns how to count from 0 to 9 and how to add numbers to these foundational numbers. In fact, it is easier for a child to remember how to count numbers and pronounce words through songs than when taught ordinarily.
  • Studies show children who learn nursery rhymes make good readers. Some of nursery rhymes are in form of a story as they contain introduction, main body and conclusion reminiscent of the structure of a story.
  • Not only does a child learn how to discriminate one sound from another or pronounce words; they also learn how to spell words.
  • When a child sings with other children, he/she is sharpening his/her social skills through interaction and this emphasizes importance of cooperation. The child learns early on merits of interaction, cooperation and how to foster unity (togetherness) and that he/she has a role to play in the society.
  • Lastly, they help the child in recognizing an emotion, how to express it and how to manage it. The child learns how to sympathize with others whose emotional display shows they are experiencing something that isn’t pleasant and finding ways of helping them.


List of YouTube Videos Nursery Rhymes

Every language has its own nursery rhymes. However in this article, we will look at the famous English nursery rhymes which will be beneficial for both native and non-native English learners. In some countries, English is taught as a second, third or fourth language or as an official language. Thus, it serves as an advantage when parents and pre-school teachers teach their children a number of nursery rhymes to better help them develop their grasp of the English language.

It is worth noticing different countries that teach English as a foreign language have their own English nursery rhymes. A school isn't limited in inventing English nursery rhymes. The songs can vary teaching about shapes, moral story, counting numbers, animals (domestic and wildlife), food (vegetables and fruits), sounding letters, numbers and words.

1. Old MacDonald Had A Farm

2. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

3. Row Row Row Your Boat

4. Wheels on the Bus

5. One Two Buckle My Shoe

6. The ABC Song

7. Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes

8. The Numbers Song

9. Skip to My Lou

10. If You Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands

Your Take on Nursery Rhymes

Do you think nursery rhymes are beneficial in the development of a child?

See results

© 2019 Benny Njuguna


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    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Benny Njuguna 

      4 months ago from Kenya

      I agree the political rhymes are not good songs to teach children at such an early age.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      4 months ago from Houston, TX USA

      No doubt singing and speaking to a child is beneficial. The songs mentioned in the article are good, but I wonder about political rhymes of the past. We need to watch what we teach our children.


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