Wind the bobbin up? Blackbirds baked in pie? It’s tempting to question the relevance of nursery rhymes in the 21st century. But ask any primary school teacher and they’ll tell you – the child who knows their nursery rhymes is almost always among the best readers and writers in their class.
Nursery rhymes are such a great introduction to literacy because they teach early phonic skills – hearing and manipulating letter sounds. Nursery rhymes also give children early practice in pitch, volume and rhythm – laying the foundations for the musicality of everyday speech.
And while they may sound old-fashioned to us, the magical content of so many nursery rhymes – brown paper for a broken head and blackbirds pecking off noses – encourages visualisation and imagination, skills they’ll need later on for writing and creating their own stories.