10 Benefits of Using Spanish Nursery Rhymes for Language Development

Bilingual Early Education
toddlers reading Spanish nursery rhymes

Nursery rhymes are a fun and enjoyable way for children to learn a new language. They help with language development by exposing children to new words and phrases and cultivating their listening and comprehension skills. 

Nursery rhymes can also help children learn the rhythms and sounds of a new language, which can be especially helpful for learning a language that’s very different from their native tongue.

Moreover, nursery rhymes strengthen children’s memory and recall skills since they involve repeating words and phrases. The benefits of nursery rhymes for language development in children are numerous and can be an important tool for helping little kids with their overall cognition development.

10 Benefits of Spanish Nursery Rhymes for Language Development

Exposure to new words and phrases

Nursery rhymes introduce children to new vocabulary, helping expand their language skills. Spanish nursery rhymes are especially useful for children with English as their native tongue since both languages originated from Latin.

There are a lot of perfect English-Spanish cognates words like “actor,” “animal,” and “drama.” On top of that, there are also near-perfect cognates where you can switch a few letters, and they’re essentially the same, like “diario” for “diary” or “ficcion” for “fiction.”

Listening and comprehension skills

Nursery rhymes can help improve a child’s listening and comprehension skills in several ways. First, nursery rhymes often contain new and unfamiliar words and phrases, which can help children to expand their vocabulary and improve their listening skills.

As they listen to the rhyme, children will pay attention to the words and try to understand their meaning. In addition, nursery rhymes often have a predictable structure and rhyme scheme, which can help children anticipate what comes next in the rhyme. This can improve their ability to follow along and understand the rhyme as it is being read or sung.

Rhythm and sound

Nursery rhymes can help children to learn the rhythms and sounds of a new language, which can be especially helpful for learning a language that is very different from their native language. By mimicking the sound repeatedly, they’re able to retain the information. And with the added context, they can easily associate the word’s meaning. 

Memory and recall

Nursery rhymes can help improve a child’s memory and recall skills in several ways. First, many nursery rhymes involve repeating words and phrases, which can help children to commit the words to memory.

For example, a child may have to repeat a phrase multiple times to complete the rhyme. This repetition can help reinforce the words in the child’s mind and make it easier for them to recall later.

In addition, nursery rhymes often have a catchy, memorable quality, making it easier for children to remember the words and phrases. The rhyme, rhythm, and structure of nursery rhymes can also help to make the words and phrases more memorable for children.

Enjoyment

Children often find nursery rhymes to be enjoyable, which can make language learning more engaging and motivating. Pair that with their parent doing the activity with them, and the exercise’s enjoyment is heightened further.

Development of musical skills

Singing nursery rhymes can also help children to develop their musical skills, such as pitch and rhythm.

Cultural awareness

Nursery rhymes can also introduce children to different cultures and traditions, helping promote cultural awareness and understanding. 

In addition, learning nursery rhymes in other languages can help children develop an appreciation for the diversity of languages and cultures in the world. It can also aid in fostering curiosity and understanding as children become more aware of the different customs and ways of life of people from different backgrounds.

Improved pronunciation

Singing nursery rhymes can help children to improve their pronunciation and intonation of Spanish words. The rhythm of these rhymes teaches them the proper sounds and syllables of certain words.

Enhanced reading skills

Reciting nursery rhymes can also help children to develop their reading skills in Spanish, as they have to match the words of the rhyme to the written text.

Confidence

As children become more proficient in singing nursery rhymes, they may feel more confident in speaking and understanding Spanish.

Now that we know the benefits of nursery rhymes, let’s look at a few examples. If you want to help cultivate your child’s cognitive abilities, try incorporating these fun activities to encourage speech and language development.

5 Nursery Rhymes in Spanish for a Child’s Language Development

“Cinco lobitos” (Five little wolves)

This simple rhyme counts down from five to one, using the word “lobitos” (little wolves) to represent the numbers.

“Diez dedos” (Ten fingers)

This rhyme is similar to the English rhyme “This Little Piggy” and is a fun way to count fingers and toes.

“La gallina Turuleca” (The chicken Turuleca)

This is a silly rhyme about a chicken who likes to dance and sing.

“Los pollitos dicen” (The little chicks say)

This is a popular rhyme that teaches kids the sounds that different animals make.

“El oso” (The bear)

This rhyme is about a bear who is looking for something to eat.

Spanish Nursery Rhymes for Your Kid’s Language Development

Engage your child’s curiosity while learning a new language with nursery rhymes! It helps to ask them what nursery rhymes they want to hear next. 

Are they interested in more animals or want to hear one involving delicious food? Regardless of their choice, you’ll be able to keep the fun going.

Over time, they’ll associate these activities with family bonding with mom or dad. So you aren’t just cultivating their language skills; you’re also strengthening your connection with your little one.

Visit the Rayito de Sol blog to learn more about how to help your child in their language-learning journey.

November 28, 2023