Saying nursery rhymes to your baby does so many good things. It stimulates a baby’s language development, shows you love them and enjoy spending time with them.
Saying nursery rhymes in rhythmic style, or singing them teaches your baby rhythm, which is a beginning math concept.
Very young babies enjoy gentle motion like rocking or gentle touch. The patterned touching and moving that are built into rhymes give them great pleasure and help them get to know their fingers and toes, etc. The touching and eye contact helps to build a connection between you and your baby.
ROCK A BYE BABY
Rock a bye, baby (Sway child back and forth)
On the tree top, when the wind blows (Gently blow on baby)
The cradle will rock; (Sway child back and forth)
When the bough breaks
The cradle will fall
And down will come baby
Cradle and all. (Gently lower baby)
Older babies who can sit up enjoy lap rhymes. These babies love to be bounced with varying degrees of vigor, feeling a safe fall to one side, or between the knees, being patted on the feet or tickled on the tummy, etc. They also love the musical and lively sound of the rhymes and will soon recognize their favourites!
Doctor Foster went to Gloucester (Bounce on lap)
In a shower of rain (Light tickling for rain)
He stepped in a puddle
Right up to his middle (Drop baby between knees to his middle)
And never went there again! (Bring baby up again and hug)
An elephant goes like this and that (Sway baby from side to side)
He’s terrible big and terrible fat (Stretch baby’s arms way out and way up)
He’s got no fingers and he’s got no toes (Wiggle baby’s fingers and toes)
But goodness, gracious, What a Nose! (Wiggle baby’s nose, pretending it’s very long)