You might be recalling a historical Welsh king in “Old King Cole” who drowned in a very swamp 1700 years ago, as well as in poemas cortos para niños “Little Miss Muffet” the daughter of a bug expert in Shakespearean England, or even a queen beheaded on her behalf Catholic faith in “Mary Mary Quite Contrary.” These stories already went through a so many changes on the centuries why these meanings -if they did originate during these long-ago dark circumstances -are mostly obscured.
Most of the songs were section of an oral-based society that relayed news, spread coded rumors about authority figures, and solved its moral dilemmas (for the kids and adults) in rhyme and song. And existing nonsense rhymes that were section of this oral tradition could possibly be used or adapted to make references to current events. It was inside the nineteenth century, when Victorian society sentimentalized childhood and romanticized “quaint” times from the past, that most nursery rhymes were written down and presented as for the children only.
How are these poems-inhabited by kings, queens and peasants of an rural past predating electricity, television and computers-still tightly related to twenty-first-century kids and parents? If we are up to now removed through the world that hatched these rhymes, why should we still read them? Some of the reasons people sang nursery rhymes to each other inside the past remain why you should do so today. Here are four major causes nursery rhymes could be beneficial for youngsters:
1. They are good for the brain. Not only does the repetition of rhymes and stories teach children how language works, additionally, it builds memory capabilities that might be applied to a variety of activities. Furthermore, as Vandergrift suggests, nursery rhyme books in many cases are a child’s first exposure to literacy: “Even before they’re able to read, children can sit and understand how a book works.” This also includes the pictures and music connected with nursery rhymes: it is just a full visual and oral experience.
2. Nursery rhymes conserve a culture that spans generations, providing something in common among parents, grandparents and kids-and also between people that do not know each other. Seth Lerer, Humanities Professor in the University of California San Diego and expert in the history of children’s literature, says that reading nursery rhymes to kids is, partly, “to participate in a very long tradition … it’s actually a shared ritual, there’s almost a religious quality to it.”
3. They are an incredible group activity. Susie Tallman, who may have put out several award-winning nursery rhymes CDs, and is also a nursery school music teacher, describes how singing nursery rhymes allows all kids-even shy ones-to feel confident about singing, dancing and performing since they’re so easy to recognize and fun: “It builds confidence right in front of my eyes,” she says. “They really begin to see the connection between movement, rhythm and words.” She has also had kids of numerous ages collaborate on making music videos for his or her favorite nursery rhymes.
4. Most important is that they are fun to convey. Lerer downplays lifespan lessons that some rhymes contain, arguing that while parents might consider them important, children probably tend not to register them. He remembers how as a kid he previously no idea what “Peas porridge hot/peas porridge cold” meant but that “he just loved the way sounded.” One should not let any supposed deeper meanings or origins to nursery rhymes obscure their true value: the joy of an child’s discovery of the old, shared language.