Most everyone remembers a favorite Mother Goose rhyme that has a place in their childhood memories. And although scholars warn us of the nursery rhymes’ more sinister historical meanings, I prefer to find the simple joy in them when shared with little ones. The Children’s Department offers a wide selection of nursery rhymes in both the circulating and special collections.
The fact is that rhymes have sounds and a rhythmical quality that comfort and entertain young children. The rhymes also introduce and share the sounds and rhythms of our language. When children listen to nursery rhymes they participate and develop listening skills. Think of all the things that rhymes can help to impart and develop: counting, sequencing, large and small motor skills, fluency, speech, vocabulary, and language. But besides all of the many benefits and skills that rhymes develop and reinforce, they are simply fun and playful. When we share Mother Goose with children we can create wonderful memories, support literacy skills, and perhaps event plant the seeds for a future appreciation of poetry.