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Hungerford Nursery School

Centre for Children and Families

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Nursery School

Importance of Rhymes and Stories

Reading books or telling stories is a time when you can be together. Children learn so much from sharing books with adults. Not only are they learning vital skills for later reading and writing, but sharing books also helps with talking, listening, and communication skills, as well as encouraging imagination, curiosity, and arousing emotions.  

Sharing a book will not only give your child the opportunity to hear words spoken, either through poetry and rhyme, story or non-fiction, but it will encourage communication as you talk about what’s happening in the book.


Stories do not need to come from a book.  Children enjoy listening to you make up stories. They can be about anything, for example, things you did as child or things your child did when they were a baby.


Nursery rhymes provide bite-sized learning opportunities for young children to develop key skills and can often be the trigger for hours of creative and open-ended play. They are a powerful learning source in early literacy and enable children to become interested in the rhythm and patterns of language. Many nursery rhymes are also repetitive which can support the development of memory.


Rhymes are fantastic vocabulary boosters. They often feature a pleasing rhythmic pattern and simple repetitive phrases that young children find easy to remember and repeat. In order to develop their phonological awareness, children need to be repeatedly exposed to spoken language and nursery rhymes provide the perfect way to do this.


But singing, rhyming and story-telling are oral activities that can be done anytime and any place, in the bath, on a walk, on a car journey, around the dining table. That makes it something easy enough to integrate into our everyday lives.


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


Click on the links below for stories, rhymes and songs that we share at Nursery.