Definition: A nursery rhyme refers to a traditional poem, tale or song for small children whose origin dates back to the eighteenth and the early nineteenth century.
It is possible that as a parent sings along to a nursery rhyme for his or her child, he or she is telling the same poems or stories that were told by another parent to their children a long time ago, probably in a different setting and form. This is irrespective of the fact that most nursery rhymes started to be written down in the eighteenth century when the publishing of children’s books started shifting from being polemic and educational and becoming more entertaining.
However, there is an indication that there were many nursery rhymes in existence long before the eighteenth century.
Some of these rhymes are believed to have come from varying sources including; traditional proverbs, riddles, ballads, drinking songs, and historical happenings. Hence most of these rhymes tend to reflect on historical events. For example, remember remember’ nursery rhyme reflects on Guy Fawke’s failed attempt of blowing up the English house of parliament while ing a Ring o Rosies’ reflects on the Bubonic plague.
Beneficial to children
Nursery rhymes have a number of benefits attributable to them. Some of the reasons they are considered beneficial to children include;
They are helpful to the brain. Repetition of rhymes by children enhances their memory capabilities that can be useful in a wide range of other activities as well as improve their spatial reasoning which can enhance better performance in subjects such as mathematics and science.
They also teach a child how language works. For instance, a child’s first experience with literacy comes in form of a nursery rhyme book. Hence, they enable children to learn how a book works which extends to the pictures and music associated with them.
Nursery rhymes are also a form of preservation of culture as it is passed on from one generation to another. They provide something in common for parent and their children as well as people who have not met each other. Children enjoy hearing and singing them, and at some point, some of them spark memories of one’s childhood.
When a child is reading a nursery rhyme, he or she is taking part in the passage of a longstanding tradition.
Singing nursery rhymes build the confidence of the children allowing them to sing, dance, and perform together with others. This enables even the shy children to step up and enjoy themselves as they are not hard to grasp and they have an element of fun in them. They, therefore, bring forth a great group activity for children. Singing them also enables the children to realize the connection between rhythm, movement, and words.
Nursery rhymes bring about a feeling of joy in addition to fun for the children. Hence one should not let their deeper meaning come between their true values. As much as the nursery rhymes contain some important life lessons as considered by parents, children just enjoy singing them without giving any reasonable attention to their deep meaning as they just enjoy their sound.