Helpful Information

Why Nursery Rhymes Teach Kids More Than You Think

(It’s So Easy, Too!)


Singing nursery rhymes to kids with actions seems like a natural thing to do – you probably know “Incy Wincy Spider”, or “This Little Piggy”. But did you know they are also very important for communication development, too?

Here’s why.

If you think about words, they come and go in an instant, and we’re only using one sense – hearing.

To learn what words mean and how to communicate them, it helps to use more senses, like touch and vision. Especially for kids who may be experiencing delays in communication development, using more senses can be extra important.

Speech Pathologist and Practice Leader at Novita, Penny Miller, says:

“Children learn language in many different ways.

“Music is a great way to engage kids in language activities and using gestures, and ‘fingerplays’ help to ‘make the language visible’.

“When we use movement with language we’re engaging so many more of the senses, like vision and touch.”

From a therapy perspective, a speech pathologist may encourage ‘interactive’ rhymes, songs and games with your child, depending on the outcomes you want to achieve. It could assist to develop ways for your child to communicate, create enjoyment in communication, or enable them to join in.


“Using songs with actions can ‘get the interaction happening’, plus support kids who may have difficulty getting their message across, to be able to participate,” adds Penny.

“When we use many senses to learn new words we make learning much more visible.”

You can and should make up your own words and actions to any rhymes or song you choose – whatever your kids like best!

Here’s a game we love that you can try at home – it encourages understanding between the words and actions, while also being fun.