You want your child to be a good conversationalist, right?

Before a child can be an excellent conversationalist, they must be able to remember sounds, words, phrases, and sentences. Nursery rhymes are a great and fun way to help your child develop these skills.

Sing or say some of these rhythms to your baby every day. From the time he is quite young, he will show that he recognizes and enjoys familiar patterns of sound and rhythm. Add simple actions that you will learn to anticipate.

As he gets older, repeat the same nursery rhymes many times and continue to add new ones to the repertoire. Recorded versions can be useful to help develop memory for words and melodies, but most recorded songs and rhymes are too fast for young children to develop their listening memory and language skills. So, as often as possible, sing or say them yourself.

Sing and say nursery rhymes slowly, exaggerating the rhyme and rhythm, with actions where possible. Clarify the words, and when your baby is old enough, encourage him to join or complete some of the words. Have lots of fun interacting with your baby through these rhymes and songs, as this exchange will be a crucial link in her speech and language development.

Research on language development has shown the crucial importance of helping your baby develop good listening and remembering skills.

As a speech pathologist, I see many children who have not developed good auditory processing skills (the ability to make sense of sound) and auditory memory skills (remembering exact sounds, words, and sentences). This can be for a variety of reasons, including intermittent hearing loss.

These children find it difficult to follow directions. They often do not seem to remember what they are told. Sometimes they have trouble speaking clearly. Their grammar may be incorrect or they may have difficulty speaking in complex sentences. Then they may find that telling well-structured stories is too difficult. Getting your message across to people who don’t know you well can be difficult.

I invariably find that they can’t tell me nursery rhymes, or when they do, the words are a bit ‘fake’. That is It is important for them to get the words right and in the right order.

Children need endless opportunities to practice the language with you. They need to hear many words and sentences and they need to hear the same ones repeated many times.

They also need to understand rhyme, so they can classify and store words in their brains and manipulate sounds in a way that helps them learn to read later. Of course, Nursery Rhymes is full of rhymes and puns, as well as a wide variety of vocabulary and endless variations in sentence structure. And little kids love silliness.

Actions have been shown, in research, to stimulate speech and language. Nursery rhymes and action songs provide wonderful opportunities to combine words with actions. You can invent your own actions, appropriate for the age of your child. Babies will join in on the actions long before they can say the words, and then they are learning to successfully engage in communication with you!

So show your child how to have a lot of fun with words by sharing nursery rhymes, books, and stories. Sing them, say them, do the actions! It will prepare your child for a life of great communication.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *