Mother Goose Day Is May 1

Let's Celebrate It Everyday

By Diane Braun April 28, 2024

Recently, I was scrolling through some Facebook pages and came across a local pre-school who had posted this quote on their page: 

"Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know eight nursery rhymes by heart..., they're usually among the best readers by the time they're eight."

Really?  As a former pre-Kindergarten teacher, that got me thinking. I realized that those nursery rhymes have withstood the test of time.  I Googled nursery rhymes and up popped Mother Goose. Of course! Not only did our house have books with these rhymes but I can remember growing up with a Mother Goose book.  Let's take a memory test and see if YOU were exposed to Mother Goose at any time in your life.  Finish the following rhymes:

--Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and ___________________________________________________________.

--Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater had a wife and couldn't keep her.  He put her in a ______________________________________________________________________.

--Pat A Cake, Pat A Cake, Baker's man. Bake me a cake as fast as you can.  Roll it,  __________________________________________________________________.

Did you finish all three? One or two? If you're familiar with these and other nursery rhymes, you immediately notice the rhythm.  There's a cadence that lends itself to music. No wonder research has shown that children exposed to these rhymes develop a familiarity to rhythmic movement. The structure lends itself to speech development.  These quick rhymes are easy to learn--think about sitting with a two year old and playing Pat A Cake, how quickly does the child pick up on anticipating the movements?  Believe it or not, these rhymes are a wonderful introduction to poetry. Listen for the rhyming words. Clap or move to the beat. How exciting is that! It has been shown that this movement and recognition is what stirs a child's interest in learning, especially reading.

So, if you couldn't finish any of the above nursery rhymes, take a few minutes to Google Mother Goose. Find the answer and then share the nursery rhyme with a child in your life.