Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The lost art of nursery rhymes...

Homemade tapping sticks
Did you know that research has found that a child's academic success can be predicted by their ability to keep a steady beat? Humans naturally find patterns within the things around them and this is how we learn. Children who do not have rhythmic abilities, pattern acquisition and are unable to keep a steady beat often have difficulties learning, reading and with language development. It has been shown that a sense of timing also helps with counting and mathematics.

These days, as well as an increase in learning disabilities, there also seems to be a decrease in parents singing and reading to their children. Coincidence? ...and it's NOT that parents don't care! I believe it's a combination of time short parents (who are too busy at home or need to return to work when they're kids are still young), the lost art of nursery rhyme singing and too many distractions at home (hello smartphones, laptops, tablets, TV's, e mail, games, apps, etc!)

It's easy to sing and talk to your little ones and really doesn't matter what your voice sounds like (trust me, if Ladybug can endure my voice and enjoy it, then anyone can do it!) It's easy to learn some classic nursery rhymes, there are plenty of resources out there - including books at the library, the Internet, children's CD's and so on. I'll even include some classics here for good measure ;-) ...and as for talking, I know some people find it hard to talk to someone who isn't going to talk back, but it really is very important (and easy!) just talk about what you're doing, how you feel, what the weather is like. Babies aren't going to respond any time soon, but they are most definitely taking things in!

It's important to note here that even though there is plenty of technology available to do this for us (music and nursery rhymes being sung on TV shows, DVD's, etc) it is actually human interaction that has an effective difference. Children need to watch and learn from other humans (just like other mammals learn from their peers) - for this reason I have not included any Youtube links, but you could try looking on there for ideas if you're really stumped. You can read more about human interaction vs television by clicking here and reading about Vincent on page 5.

If you are still unsure, or embarressed, then a great place to start is your local library. Most libraries offer weekly Rhyme time, Story time or Lapsit programs specifically designed for babies and toddlers. We go every week and Ladybug loves it!

Ladybug loved her music table

Here are some of the Ladybug's favourite rhymes, with some links below of where to find more.

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full!
One for the Master, one for the Dame
And one for the little boy who lives down the lane

I'm a little teapot

I'm a little teapot
Short and stout
Here is my handle
Here is my spout

When I get all steamed up
Hear me shout
"Tip me over and pour me out!"

I'm a clever teapot,
Yes, it's true,
Here let me show you what I can do,
I can turn my handle into a spout, (switch arms)
Tip me up and pour me out!


Ladybird, ladybird,
Fly away home.

Your house is on fire,
And your children all gone.

All except one,
And that's little Ann,

She has crept under,
The warming pan.

Ring-a-ring o' roses

Ring-a-ring o' roses,
A pocket full of posies,
A-tishoo! A-tishoo!
We all fall down.

The cows are in the meadow,
Eating buttercups.
A-tishoo! A-tishoo!
We all jump up.

Twinkle twinkle little star (we also sign this one, you can read more about that here)

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
When you shower your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

Pussycat, Pussycat

Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been?
I've been up to London to visit the Queen.

Pussycat, pussycat, what did you dare?
I frightened a little mouse under her chair!

You can learn the words to more nursery rhymes and nonsense songs here on Kidspot
You can read more about the link between keeping a steady beat and future school success here

Enjoying nursery rhymes Dad-style!

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