Recently I found this video from
December 2017. My granddaughter Harlow was exactly one and a half years
old! Harlow is playing a wonderful finger play created many years
ago by my neighbour, Marina Pyo, when her own children were babies and attended
our story time, Lullabies & LapRhymes.
When our heads are full of rhymes and songs, they can offer us more than just a fun playtime. They can also offer comfort.
After my mom moved out of the family home in Wisconsin several years ago, I spent some time in our house by myself, as we prepared to sell it. It was quite an emotional time, as I’m sure you can imagine.
Each time I pulled the car into the garage and headed into an empty house, I would find myself singing Marina’s cheery song, “Horsie, horsie, horsie…” and it was just the ticket for bringing a smile to my face.
And the amazing thing about having a head full of rhymes and songs, is that one doesn’t necessarily ‘decide’ to sing them, they just pop into your head, on their own, when you need them.
There are even more benefits than fun and comfort. The simple language of nursery rhymes has the power to turn rhythm, rhyme and cadence into our foundation for literacy. The seeds of the skills we need for listening, reading and writing, are sown in infancy and grow as we grow.
Whether we hear rhymes read or told, literacy begins in the nursery. Fill your child with language. A mind full of language is like a filter – our thoughts and words pour out through that filter, nurturing our ability to create rhythms, rhymes and cadences of our own.
When we nurture these skills in the youngest listeners, these skills become embedded into their thinking process.
And just imagine, it’s as easy as “Horsie, horsie, horsie, ride your little horsie. Horsie, horsie, horsie! Hooray! Hooray!”