Is there research to support teaching nursery rhymes?

Research That Supports Teaching Nursery Rhymes, plus Two Free Mother Goose Crafts!

Children learn many things from nursery rhymes, and the literacy benefits of learning them can last a lifetime.  And research confirms this!  Keep reading to find out just a few of them, and then download my free Mother Goose and baby gosling craft to make with your children!  You’ll find those at the very end of this post.

What does the research say?

There is a BOATLOAD of research on the benefits of nursery rhymes!  But most of them cite the same information that we stated below.  Here are a few links to check out!  So far, I haven’t seen a single article that recommends skipping them.

“Nursery rhyme experiences, awareness, and knowledge were found to be positively related to accomplishment in early phonological and print-related skills. This held true for children with identified disabilities as well as it did for typically developing children, and it held true regardless of child age.”

National Library of Medicine

 “There is a strong relation between early knowledge of nursery rhymes and success in reading and spelling over the next three years, even after differences in social background, I.Q., and the children’s phonological skills at the start of the project are taken into account.”

Cambridge University Press

We have already established that there are strong links between children’s early knowledge of nursery rhymes at 3;3 and their developing phonological skills over the next year and a quarter. Since such skills are known to be related to children’s success in learning to read, this result suggests the hypothesis that acquaintance with nursery rhymes might also affect children’s reading. We now report longitudinal data from a group of 64 children from the age of 3;4 to 6;3 which support this hypothesis.


Infographic: What Do Children Learn from Nursery Rhymes? Download and share with parents.  Permission is granted to reproduce and share, as long as copyright and website information is maintained.  Thank you!

So what do children learn from nursery rhymes? 

1. Rich and interesting vocabulary words
2. The rhythm, and flow of their language
3. Exposure to rhyming words helps them develop that all-important phonemic awareness, which eventually helps them learn to read and sound out words.
4. A chance to practice speaking the same words CLEARLY- to help avoid speech and articulation problems in the future
5. Confidence as learners
6. They start to see themselves as readers when they see the nursery rhymes in print that they have already memorized orally.


The goose project that I am giving you today is the same one that is on the video collection cover! 😃
So easy, it’s like cheating!

Since most nursery rhymes are very short, they are usually fun and easy for preschoolers, pre-kindergartners, and kindergarten children to learn.  Of course, setting anything to music makes it so fun and easy to learn, that it’s practically cheating!  HA!


So that’s why I am so excited about our  Nursery Rhymes collection!  After listening to it here and there, I can honestly tell you that these songs will get stuck in your head- for HOURS if not DAYS!

SINGING the nursery rhymes, and putting movements with them is a fantastic way to help children learn them! Subscribe to our Video Streaming site and you’ll find our Nursery Rhyme videos there!

Subliminal Learning

The learning that happens with nursery rhymes with music is practically subliminal! I think you could actually put these videos on in your classroom while the children are doing anything else- such as coloring, playing, building with blocks, etc., and they would start to pick them up without even trying! Of course, adding movements to it makes it even better, no doubt about that!

You can download the hand motions for our original 28 nursery rhymes here.  I will try to add the rest of the newer ones from the Heggerty set soon!

 I also posted them to SlideShare!


These are Mother Goose’s goslings! Notice how the one in the middle has feet that are cut out of simple triangles, whereas the others have feet that are xeroxed from patterns.

When I decided to make a Mother Goose craft, I also decided that a Mother Goose needs some goslings (baby geese!), so I created a pattern for them, too!  I’m in love with how cute they came out!



You can download the patterns shown above, full directions for both the Mother Goose and the little baby gosling right FREE right here.  Enjoy!  And I hope you will share any pictures of your kids’ projects when you are done!


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