Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nursery Rhymes: Helping Your Child to Build Critical Reading Readiness Skills

As a child I LOVED nursery rhymes and I credit this in part to a truly magical place known as Story Book Forest located in Idlewild, a small amusement park.  For a baby bookworm like myself, Story Book Forest was one of the coolest places on earth.  Nestled in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania, it is a place where the nursery rhymes literally come to life.  Here are pictures from a recent visit of some of the classic nursery rhymes.

Jack and Jill

Humpty Dumpty
Hickory Dickory Dock
Old King Cole

So, having had this childhood love (and slight obsession really) with nursery rhymes, I had to get baby bookworm a copy of "The Real" Mother Goose - the same book of nursery rhymes that I had as a young girl.  She not only needed this book so that when we took that first trip to Idlewild Park she would recognize some of mommy's favorite rhymes, but turns out, she needed it because nursery rhymes aid in a child's development of phonemic awareness. And mommy bookworm knew that, and now so do you.  But why is that important?  Well, phonemic awareness, or the ability to distinguish the sounds within words, can be learned through rhyming words.  More importantly, phonemic awareness happens to be related to reading ability. So Mother Goose is really a win win situation for my baby bookworm and yours!

I try to read a few nursery rhymes to baby bookworm each day.  She seems to love them, no doubt thanks to their sing-songy silliness.  Now that baby bookworm is a little older, I have been trying to specifically point out the rhyming words to her, and we even go over them on a chalkboard.  If your child is even older than mine, maybe he or she can think up their own original nursery rhyme.

Here are a few of our favorite collections:

The Real Mother Goose
Illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright
This is a very complete collection of some very well known, and less well known nursery rhymes.

My First Real Mother Goose Board Book
Written and Illustrated by Blanche F. Wright

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star: And Other Favorite Bedtime Rhymes (Board Book)
Illustrated by Sanja Rescek

Humpty Dumpty and Other Nursery Rhymes
Better Than Broccoli Books

Here's a few other books with great children's rhymes:

A Children's Book of Verse
Illustrated by Eric Kincaid
A collection of children's poetry accompanied by beautiful illustrations.

Poems for the Very Young
Selected by Michael Rosen and Illustrated by Bob Graham
A colorful collection of poetry and rhymes including both classic and modern writers.

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