How rhyming books and nursery rhymes helps to improve early language development

Estimated reading time: 6 mins

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Children love learning new words. They’re thinking which words sound different? Which words sound similar? Children’s speech and language development develops the most in a child’s first three years of life. Rhyming words and nursery rhymes can really help to boost your child’s speech and language development. How well your child knows nursery rhymes can even be an early indicator of literacy success.

We recommend regularly reading rhyming books and singing nursery rhymes to your child. Rhyming words such as ‘house’ and ‘mouse’ helps to develop a child’s phonemic awareness and encourages children to differentiate between similar sounds and letters.

Nursery rhymes and rhyming words have a predictable, rhythmic pattern and a clear beginning, middle and end. This helps children to memorise speech patterns and helps to enable your child to understand the connection between words and predict the next word.

When you sing a nursery rhyme or read a rhyming book, words and phrases slow down making speech easier for your child to hear and follow. They also build upon their vocabulary before they even understand the meaning. Children enjoy the feeling of mastering something, as they start to learn the rhymes by heart, which increases their self-esteem and sense of belonging.

Number rhymes such as ’10 Green Bottles’ introduce children too patterns, numbers and sequences. Number nursery rhymes repeat and are rhythmic, which help to make learning to count fun for your child!

Our two lift-the-flap Zara’s Caribbean Adventure and Emmanuel’s African Adventure books are rhyming books and can be purchased here

The benefits of rhyming books and nursery rhymes

• They learn new words

• Builds their vocabulary

• Improves comprehension

• Develops children’s listening skills

• Helps children Identify sound changes in words

• Feel the rhythm and beat of a particular rhyme

• Recognise repeated sound patterns

• Repetition helps children memorise speech patterns
• Learn whole rhymes off by heart from a young age

• Mirror actions such as clapping

• Helps children learn to take turns

• Reduces stress

• Develops manipulative skills

• Helps with concentration

• Increase social skills

• Helps to establish a sense of order (mathematical reasoning)

• Develops a love of books and stories

• Understand the culture in which they live

• Improves memory and creativity

To equip children with the skills they need when they go to school, it is important for parents to sing nursery rhymes and read rhyming books from an early age.


Little Scholars Playground

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About the author

Natalie is the co-founder and illustrator at Little Scholars Playground. She is passionate about literacy, learning, illustrating, black women in STEM and Montessori.

The 3 core benefits of puzzles for early childhood development

Estimated reading time: 4 mins

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Children love puzzles in early childhood. It’s not only fun, but it also acts as a great source of development in early childhood. With babies you can start with peg puzzles with simple shapes. They can then move onto real world objects and then they can move onto jigsaw puzzles as they get older.

There are 3 core benefits of puzzles in early childhood development, which are:

1) Physical skills

  • Hand-eye coordination — your child will develop the relationship between what their hands do and what they see with their eyes
  • Gross motor skills — larger puzzle pieces helps to enhance your child’s large movements
  • Fine motor skills — better handwriting skills can be created due to your child’s movement of their fingers to get a puzzle piece in exactly the right spot.

2) Cognitive skills

  • Shape recognition — the first puzzles your child should use are simple shapes, such as triangle, squares and circles
  • Visual memory — Your child has to remember the shape of pieces that don’t fit when they first try
  • Brain development and problem solving —Your child uses critical thinking skills to solve the puzzle they’re doing.

3) Emotional skills

  • Setting goals — your child will begin to create their own series of goals to solve the puzzle. Such as starting with a certain puzzle piece first
  • Patience — puzzles will help your child practice patience and slowly work through the puzzle before finishing.

These three basic skills are the building blocks for a well-rounded child and builds upon their problem-solving skills, the foundation for maths.

In addition to these three basics, if your child does a puzzle with a friend or family member, this will allow them to grow their social skills.  

We have launched a new solar system puzzle 🎉 Emmanuel and Sienna zoom into space in our NEW solar system wooden puzzle. This puzzle is beautifully designed by us and handmade in the UK, using eco-friendly FSC wood. It also includes a FREE fact sheet 🚀 You can buy our puzzle here.

The solar system for kids is a place of great fun and mystery – whether it’s their fascination with the stars, planets or astronauts, they love space! It’s also STEM focused as it introduces children to science 🪐

solar system wooden puzzle


Little Scholars Playground

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About the author

Natalie is the co-founder and illustrator at Little Scholars Playground. She is passionate about literacy, learning, illustrating, black women in STEM and Montessori.

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