Why is rhyme important to children?
We wanted an easy to read, easy to listen to, rhythmic flow in our books. We believe much can be said in just a few, carefully chosen words. Firstly, each verse or group of verses can be used later to discuss. This presents opportunities to teach a point. Rhymes are also calming. Singing and reading to children is often an opportunity for one-on-one time before bed. Children will retain more information and be able to process deep understandings when they are calm.
Rhymes provide children with the first building blocks of their first language. They teach patterns in language that develops as they grow. Growing children need growing vocabulary.
Rhymes are playful. When children reach the age of about 2-3 years, they will make up words to rhyme with words you’ve said, which can be silly and fun, but also tells us about your child’s phonemic awareness, an important skill for later reading and writing.
The repetitive nature of rhyme teaches children how sounds and sentences work.
The more experience children have with nursery rhymes, rhyme play and sound play the more they have to base further language learning such as learning to read.
Traditional nursery rhymes have natural rhyme and cadence, and can provide a base for made-up songs and fun with language. You can’t do enough of this during early childhood!
When we invest in teaching children words during early childhood they have a reserve that they can draw on when they go to pre-school, kindergarten and school. The more words they have at this point the better they will do at school.
Practical ways to help language develop in Early Childhood:
Sing. Singing with children provides rhythmic patterns. Use songs and tunes you know, even make up words while singing. Include children in the process! Use a nursery rhyme and sing about what you are doing at the time. Children don’t mind if you are not in tune, they will love to join in.
Sing traditional nursery rhymes and songs together. Traditional nursery rhymes provide structure. They have a beginning, a middle, (or climax), an ending. Stories have this same structure. Involvement with these songs will give children experience to base later learning in reading and writing.
The Shining with Light book series have been typeset in OpenDyslexic font.
OpenDyslexic is a new open source font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. The typeface includes regular, bold, italic, and bold-italic styles. It is being updated continually and improved based on input from dyslexic users.
You can find out more and download Open Dyslexic here.