If you spend time with a small child, you know how much they love to listen to rhymes and to sing songs. But did you know that rhymes and songs are an important way to promote early literacy for young children?
Early literacy is a term that describes what young children know about communication, language (both verbal and non-verbal), reading, and writing before they can actually read and write. Songs and rhymes help to slow down language, and provide children with the opportunity to focus on the different sounds that make up words. The ability to recognize different sounds in words is called phonemic awareness, and it is a necessary part of learning to read.
Music and rhymes are an important part of all of the storytime programs that we offer here at the Easton Area Public Library. Here is a flyer that provides details about our storytimes, including program descriptions, schedules, and registration information. If you are unable to register for the current session, don't fear. We offer these programs on an ongoing basis, year-round.
Here is an extensive list of nursery rhymes, songs and fingerplays that we use in our Mother Goose storytimes that babies and young children enjoy. Here are some songs that we use in our Toddler Time program that have been field tested and are quite popular and fun to share.
Books that feature rhyming text are also a fun way to encourage early literacy and help children listen to the sounds in words. Here are some books from our collection that you can take a look at the next time you are in the library.
For more information on research supporting the importance of music and early literacy, check out this article from Early Childhood News, this article published in Early Childhood, or view this brochure developed by Zero to Three.
Songs and rhymes are not only educational for little people, but they also provide a joyful way to share a love of language and literacy. Have fun making music together!