Just when toddlers enter school at about 1.5 – 2 years they are introduced to play-based learning. Most K-12 school following the IB curriculum in UAE-GCC, and other parts of the world, adopt the play-way model. Songs and rhymes are important techniques that are a part of the play-way method. Wondering what good a 4-8-line long nursery rhyme can do to a child? Before we proceed to enumerate the unending possibilities of songs and rhymes to preschoolers, let us explain what action songs are.
What are action songs?
Movement and action songs are sing-song phrases that are accompanied by actions. There are some classic action songs which never go out of fashion and are still popular in preschools. Some of them are; Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Row Row Row Your Boat, If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands! amongst many others. Then there are action-songs that are currently trending & every kiddo grooves to the beats of these rhymes. Like some examples are; Baby Shark and The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round, amongst many more.
Even 30-40 years later you would probably remember the verse and sing-move along to nursery rhymes you learnt in school. Such magnanimous impact is testament to the impression that nursery rhymes leave on the person and its retention capacity.
Here are a few benefits that are derived by introducing children to action-songs:
Enhances Hand-Eye Coordination
Hand-eye coordination is a basic skill which needs to be practiced by toddlers. It is a complex cognitive process which syncs the visual and motor skills, so that the child can move his hands after processing the visual information received by the eyes. ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ is a fun song where children use their fingers and make the spider walk up the water spout and then pretend to form rain drops by wriggling them. This is great exercise for little ones as they are learning to use their hand muscles by carefully observing the teacher & mimicking the actions.
Did you know by the age of 2-3 years, children mut be introduced to 200 to 1,000 words? In this span, it is important to expose your babies to as many new words as possible. So, what is the best way to introduce these words to them? Of course, by way of songs and rhymes. Singing helps children hear words and learn its pronunciation. And repeating the poem over a period of time registers words that form a new addition to their pool of vocabulary. Action songs are thus a fun musical way to teach and reinforce language, vocabulary and understanding of words.
Improves Self-Esteem and Confidence
When the child joins his peers and sings along with actions, he develops confidence. A feeling of inclusion is fostered and the child becomes more open. Their personalities develop and children learn to emote their feelings verbally. Research also suggests that earlier the child is exposed to tunes, the more capacity the brain has to develop music tonality and thereby improve musical sense & appreciation for music in children which boosts their self-esteem.
Enhances Listening Skills and Learns to Follow Instructions
In order to sing the poem, the child should know the lyrics. When everyone is singing together, the child starts developing keen interest in listening to the words and sings along. He learns quickly that if he won’t listen carefully, there are chances that he might feel left-out because everyone else in class in engrossed in singing the rhyme along with the teacher. The child also learns to mimic actions and facial expressions by following the instructions given by the educator.
Rhymes help children transcend into fantasy world. They meet new characters, sing & dance along with them and visualize scenes that open new dimensions. At the end of the poem, encourage children to answer questions by asking them what they learnt from the song. You would be amazed to discover how innovative their responses are.
Egg Nursery Rhymes by Reading Eggs
To partake in this musical sojourn Reading Eggs presents to you Eggy Nursery Rhymes to sing and dance along with your little ones. Classic nursery rhymes can be downloaded via the app on the Apple Store on an iPad or iPhone device. Reading Eggs has gained popularity in the Middle East, including Dubai and is recommended by schools to parents. And you know what’s even more exciting about this app? There is an in-built karaoke feature for children to sing to the tunes of their favourite rhyme. Besides this, there are games that focus on teaching rhymes, phonics, words, and spellings. If you haven’t already downloaded the app, we urge you to get it today!