I have recently been asked two interesting questions with respect to Wizzy's Words. These are with respect to the important aspect of adding actions to the rhymes and whether nursery rhymes are really an outdated resource. The answers are presented here for guidance. Please do feel free to ask away if you have any further questions you would like me to answer.
I see that one of your blog posts emphasises adding actions to the rhymes. Are you planning to present further examples?
The simple answer is yes. At present I am looking at research with respect to the importance of both the mind and body in learning. I have had the pleasure of liaising with Mary Mountstephen, a learning differences consultant. Although her work focuses more generally on children with less typical development, it has been insightful to my work and approach to developing resources for use from birth to 5+ for both typical and less typical development. My research encompasses; developmental milestones, rhyme, rhythm, motor co-ordination, Covid effects and typical and atypical development. The importance of rhyme and rhythm for successful learning is well researched but perhaps less well applied. Once completed I will share the outcomes of my research. In the meantime, I will add further rhymes with simple actions to the blog.
Nursery rhymes seem to be quite dated. Are they really a good resource for my child’s early learning?
YES! YES! YES! Ha! This makes me want to shout ‘Rhyme away every day’ from the rooftops! As a teacher and researcher my classroom observations and assessments and subsequent research were telling me that something was going wrong with early language learning. My original literature review supported this. Although nursery rhymes are well used at home and school their impact was not necessarily clear.
On examining the oral vocabulary being presented to infants it did not match the natural development of spoken vocabulary. However, my current research shows that children that can rhyme at 4 are among the best readers (and learners) at 8. I will present this data in due course. Furthermore, rhythm and motor activity have been shown to promote learning in each of the development domains.
Yes, our traditional nursery rhymes do not necessarily offer the key vocabulary for learning today. I re-worked many of our nursery rhymes to produce Wizzy’s Words picture books of rhymes. A resource that is based on language development data. Perhaps we need to change the name from nursery rhymes to rhythms to help parents and educators to appreciate how important they are for successful mind and body development from birth.