The Importance of Music and Nursery Rhymes in Early Years

The early years are critical in shaping a child’s cognitive, emotional, and social development. Music and nursery rhymes play a significant role in fostering holistic growth by stimulating intellectual faculties, instilling emotional intelligence, and nurturing social skills.

The Power of Music in Early Childhood

  • Cognitive Development

Music enhances brain functions, such as memory, attention, and creative thinking, and boosts early intellectual growth by engaging multiple senses, promoting neural connections, and fostering problem-solving and spatial-temporal skills.

  • Emotional Development

Children learn to express, identify, and manage their emotions through music. Music can elicit many emotions, helping children develop emotional intelligence, empathy, and self-regulation.

  • Social Skills

Musical activities like singing, dancing, or playing instruments encourage sharing, cooperation, and communication among children. These joint experiences build community, foster cultural appreciation, and teach children essential social etiquette.

The Potency of Nursery Rhymes

  • Language and Speech Development

Nursery rhymes facilitate language development by exposing children to new vocabulary, improving pronunciation, and enhancing sentence construction skills. These rhythmic verses also support phonological awareness, which is essential for reading and writing skills.

  • Cognitive Skills

Nursery rhymes can improve a child’s memory recall and logical thinking abilities. Their repetitive nature reinforces concepts and patterns, while exposure to familiar themes promotes deductive reasoning and problem-solving.

  • Cultural and Historical Awareness

Traditional nursery rhymes serve as entry points for children to explore their cultural and historical backgrounds. These timeless verses convey values, customs, and historical events that enrich children’s understanding of the world around them.

Practical Strategies for Implementing Music and Nursery Rhymes in Routine

  • Set Musical Activities

Incorporate music into children’s daily activities by playing songs during playtime, arranging musical games, using background music during art projects or storytelling, or introducing simple percussion instruments.

  • Make Rhymes a Part of Everyday Conversations

Embed nursery rhymes into routine conversations by weaving them into everyday scenarios, using them to explain new concepts, or reciting them together during bedtime or mealtimes.

Long-term Impact of Music and Rhymes on Children’s Growth

  • Evolving Interest in Music and Art

Early exposure to music can spark a lifelong interest in music, dance, and other creative outlets. This passion for the arts can enhance a child’s cognitive, emotional, and social well-being in the long run.

  • Advances in Academic Success

Music and nursery rhymes stimulate critical thinking, problem-solving, and language skills crucial for academic achievement. Children with a strong foundation in these areas often excel in their studies and develop a healthy, curious attitude toward learning.

Final Thoughts

Incorporating music and nursery rhymes into a child’s early years is vital for well-rounded development. Parents and educators must actively employ these resources as essential tools in nurturing cognitive, emotional, and social growth in children. Doing so lays the foundation for a generation of well-rounded individuals with a lifelong love for music, art, and learning.


Andrea is currently the head of content management at SpringHive Web Design Company, a digital agency that provides creative web design, social media marketing, email marketing, and search engine optimization services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. She is also a blog contributor at Baby Steps Preschool where she writes storytime themes, parenting tips, and seasonal activities to entertain children.

4 Reasons Why Songs and Rhymes Plant the Seed to Read

When my girls were little I was always singing songs and saying rhymes with them. Usually it was in the car when I knew they were a captive audience.

Maci and Natia probably got sick of my non-stop word play, but they always seemed to be up for it.

By the time they went to Kindergarten their phonemic awareness skills, or the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the sounds in spoken words, were rockin’ because of the hours they spent singing and rhyming with me.

They also had a huge bank of words in their head that were woven together through, you guessed it, songs and rhymes!

Although there has been a lot of debate about what “ready to read” means, the science of reading states that children become fluent readers when they are explicitly taught phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.

Turns out the songs and rhymes we were having so much fun with were not only bonding us, they were naturally laying the foundation for what would be one of the most difficult skills they would need to master in order to be successful in school and life!

Songs and nursery rhymes are filled with (but not limited to)….

 1.Rich Vocabulary – The words the girls were exposed to in these songs and rhymes were vast and vibrant!

They went beyond the vocabulary they were hearing at home which only expanded their word bank.

How often do you say “pizza, pickle, pumpernickel” in the same sentence?!? Yet, those were they lyrics in one of the girls’ favorite tickle games.Learn it here.

2. Sentence Structure – Yep, noun, verb, adjective…they are all there in predictable places and children get to hear that structure over and over and over.

3. Syllables – The rhythm of a song often reflects the syllables of the lyrics. Syllables are sometimes referred to as the “beats” of spoken language and they break the word into chunks which help children sound them out.  Many songs even change pitches within the word to make it even more obvious they are separate. Therefore, when a teacher introduces the concept of syllables in Kindergarten or First Grade, children who have been exposed to music will naturally hear the syllables.

4. Rhyming – Last, but surely not least, rhyming! Songs and well, rhymes are filled with words that have similar-sounding final syllables. When children hear enough of them, they begin to produce their own rhymes which shows their ability to manipulate language – a key skill in learning to read.

Children Need More Music!

What’s sad is the amount of children who come to school with very few songs and nursery rhymes in their heads!

That is why it is so important for educators to fill children up with songs and rhymes ASAP! But let’s face it, “Twinkle, Twinkle” can only be sung so many times.

If you are ready to add some new songs and rhymes to get your little ones ready to read then Check out “A Year of Music” and you’ll have a new song to share every month of the year!

Rather us be your child or schools music teacher? Then check out our virtual music classes for little ones here!

10 Ideas to Spice up your Circle Time

circle time ideas

It’s spring time and you know what that means, the end of the school year is just around the corner for many of you.

With that comes a little less ambition to plan.

If I’m right, then I’ve got something for you, 10 ideas to Spice up your Circle Time!

But even if you are reading this list in late October, I bet you’ll still find some inspiration you can take right back to circle time.

1. Guess the instrument

Get that box of mixed instruments out. Choose 3 to play for the class and tell them their names. Then take them out of sight. Say the outer space-themed chant below and then play one instrument at a time in between. Can they guess which instrument was played?


Astronauts, astronauts are flying all around,

One of them has an instrument, just listen to the sound.

2. Parachute Fun

The parachute doesn’t always get all the love it deserves. Let’s be honest, you haven’t gotten it out all year!

The best part is, kids love it! Try this simple song below and change the word in bold to mix it up!

If you need a little help with how to manage parachute time, check out my blog post 3 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make with the Parachute.


(Tune: This Is The Way)

This is the way we walk around

Walk around, walk around.

This is the way and then we all sit down.

3. Change The Hello Song

Doing the same hello song at circle time can feel safe, but it can get old fast. Change up the second line of this chant and it will feel like new every time!


Strawberry shortcake, banana cream pie

If you’re wearing red, jump up high!

variation ideas: If you have a dog, raise your hands high.

4. Shadow Screen Story

Children love readalouds. But storytime doesn’t need to stop at books!

All you will need to tell a story with a shadow screen is, well, a shadow screen, some characters cut out of cardstock with a popsicle stick attached, a story you can retell easily like Goldilocks and the Three Bears and a backlight (phone flashlights work)!

Not sure how to make a shadow screen? Check it out here!

5. Hide The Star

This game is a lot like hot and cold. But instead of saying, “you’re getting hotter” when the person gets close to the object, you sing louder and quieter as they move farther away!

To play, choose one child to hide the star and one child to be the finder. They’ll hide their eyes until it is hidden. Then have the finder enter the room as the group directs them to the object using a song’s volume as the clue. I like using “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” because it is a well known tune.


Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are.

Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are.

6. Storytelling Stones

For this storytelling change up, you’ll need a short story such as “Too Much Noise”, small rocks and the characters modge podged onto the rocks. That’s it!

I’ll tell you the story using flannel pieces and that should get your wheels turnin’ on how you can put the characters on stones. Click here for the story.

7. Bubble Time

Blow a bubble and have children count how long it takes for it to pop. Try other objects like feathers, scarves and tissues. Keep a record of how long each object stays in the air. Children will also get an opportunity to play with physics as they determine which one stays in the air the longest. Be sure to ask lots of “why” questions.

8. Memory

Teach children how to play memory by placing numbered cards in a pocket chart. Next, get a set of cards with pairs and mix them up and place behind each number. Have a child select two numbers and see if the card behind them match. If they don’t match, turn them back over and have another child make a guess. Continue the game until all cards have been matched up. Make the game available for children to play with a partner later.

9. Flower Shop

Give each child 5 pennies in a ziplock. Get a bundle of fake flowers at the dollar store. Say the chant below and insert a child’s name. Then tell them how many pennies to pay. Get ready for them to want to play flower shop for at least a week after this!


So many flowers in the flower shop,

So many flowers to be bought.

Along came Ethan/Emily with a penny to pay (or “some money” if you don’t have pennies),

He/she took one (change number each time) flower then he/she ran away.

10. Make Slow Cooker Playdough

Cooking is not only fun and memorable, it is a great STEM activity. Using a slow cooker means the children can help you make it in the classroom, then watch it cook. Grab the recipe here.