By Selma Levi, Children's Department Supervisor, and Ryan O'Grady
Looking for an exciting and interactive learning tool for your toddler or young child? Look no further. Here at The Enoch Pratt Free Library State Library Resource Center Children’s Department, we post a new “Handy Dandy Rhyme” every month.
These are rhymes, songs, and finger plays that are often used in our popular “Mother Goose Baby Steps” programs (aimed at children birth through two years) as well as the other two programs that are part of our stepping stones to school readiness, “Toddler Jumps” (two year olds) and “Preschool Leaps” (three to five years). You can find the videos posted on YouTube under KidsBuzz, on SchoolTube under "enochpratt," and on our Kidsbuzz video page.
We usually incorporate puppets the first time we present the rhymes and then repeat the rhyme without the puppets. In this way, caregivers can replicate them without feeling they have to have a puppet to be successful.
Our goals are twofold:
- To encourage caregivers to reinforce these classics at home. Current baby brain research emphasizes the importance of repetition in child development. If a caregiver is not sure of the words or movements that they see in a live program, they can start to feel comfortable by seeing how we do it; and, of course, there is the bonus option of repeating it until they know the rhyme. (Caregivers can watch them all with their children too!)
- To create an atmosphere ripe for a special closeness between caregiver and child. The all-important bonding experience can take place at the spur of the moment. These rhymes are often either nonsensical and joyous or both. Singing/acting out these traditional rhymes is just the kind of playful interaction that makes lasting memories.
Join us to wiggle your fingers, clap your hands, and grow your child’s brain at the same time!
Here is August 2012's Rhyme of the Month: