Nov 17, 2022

The Importance of Nursery Rhymes | Celebrating World Nursery Rhyme Week

Nursery practitioner reading a book to a group of children

Founded and organised by Music Bugs since 2013, World Nursery Rhyme Week promotes the importance of nursery rhymes in early childhood development and education.

The benefits of Nursery Rhymes in Early Years

Nursery rhymes play a vital role in early childhood development and education. That’s why across our settings at The Old Station Nursery Group, we make sure to incorporate plenty of nursery rhymes into everyday activities, to support our children’s development and learning.

But why are nursery rhymes so important for children? To celebrate World Nursery Rhyme week this week, here are some of the benefits of learning nursery rhymes and how you can help to continue your child’s nursery rhyme journey at home.

Boosting vocabulary and language development:

Singing nursery rhymes and songs to young children can help develop their language and communication skills from an early age. With nursery rhymes offering lots of repetition, alongside accompanying actions, it can help to widen children’s vocabulary, so that they are able to use these words in everyday interactions. This means they can also learn new words within different contexts. For example, ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ repetition of the concept ‘round and round’, ‘open and shut’ and ‘up and down’ teaches the concepts of movements through song. Rhymes like ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’ encourages attempting the vowel pattern of e-i-e-i-o or have a go at vocalising the animal sounds.

Developing literacy skills

Nursery rhymes are also a great way for children to be introduced to the concept of rhythm and rhyming words. When listening to and joining in with nursery rhymes, children are developing their auditory discrimination skills; they are listening for words which have similar patterns to them. This then helps them later at school, where they will use their knowledge of rhyme patterns in words to support their understanding of phonemes in reading and writing.

Providing a fun way to support early numeracy skills

Nursery rhymes aren’t all about language development either. Many rich mathematical opportunities can be found in common nursery rhymes, with children learning to count with songs such as ‘1,2,3,4,5 Once I Caught a Fish Alive’, before moving on to more challenging concepts such as finding one or two less in songs such as ‘5 Currant Buns in a Bakers Shop’ or ’10 Fat Sausages Sizzling in a Pan’. These can help with early maths skills, which will be useful in later life.

Nursery rhymes help children to develop social, physical and emotional skills

Singing nursery rhymes can also help to develop children’s social skills; it is a great opportunity for children to get to know their peers. Sitting next to one another and holding hands during rhymes such as ‘Row Row Row Your’ Boat is great for helping to develop those social skills.

Nursery rhymes, therefore, are a huge part of your child’s time at nursery. But by also continuing activities at home, your child’s learning will be further complimented and extended. So, what can you do at home? Simply ask your child’s key person for a list of nursery rhymes that the children learn in their room. They may even be able to provide you with a copy of the lyrics!

Children who may be more reluctant to join in can be encouraged through giving them choice. Find some objects or pictures which represent certain songs, such as a toy sheep for Baa Baa Black Sheep, or a paper star shape for ‘Twinkle Twinkle’, and allow your child to choose which one they want to listen or join in with.

For further information about The Old Station Nursery Group, visit

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