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Finger Rhymes And Why They Are Important

Are finger rhymes and songs disappearing from our children's learning environments? 

I was recently discussing this with a friend who I met more than 30 years ago when we did our NNEB training together. We both still work in early years and both agreed that there seemed to be a decline in the use of finger rhymes. 

Is the decline due to the current training being given? Are newly qualified practitioners paired up with a more experienced college? Is singing not encouraged any more? 

When I did my training all those years ago I went out on placement three days a week. In one of my placements one of the nursery nurses played the piano. We regularly sang finger rhymes and did ring games with all the children with a piano accompaniment. 

Finger rhymes play an important role in many areas of development. We can use them to introduce a wide range of vocabulary and build crucial language and speech skills. The repetition and rhyming helps build children's confidence as they quickly learn the words and can join and recall them independently.

The actions we use alongside singing help to develop both gross and fine motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination. The actions help to develop hand and finger strength. These muscle building exercises and skills are needed to give your child the ability to hold and control a pencil. 

Rhymes and songs introduce children to the rhythm of language and rhyming words. Mathematical language is often used and can help to develop counting skills, counting down and one to one correspondence.  One to one correspondence is knowing that each number word is paired with one object. 

Having a bank of rhymes 'in your pocket' is a very valuable thing to have. You can 'pull them out' anytime, anywhere. You might be stuck in traffic or have a class waiting their turn to go to lunch. I can guarantee that doing some finger rhymes and songs together will bring a smile to everyones faces. 

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