Joining the world’s children in celebrating National Mother Goose Day, a day that honours the imaginary author of a collection of well-loved fairy tales and nursery rhymes, local early childhood development (ECD) practitioners and children from 20 ECD centres explored the learning through rhymes and song at an event in Humansdrop, on 25 May 2017.
Over 1200 children across Humansdorp, Jeffreys Bay, Oyster Bay, St. Frances, Thornhill, Patensie and Hankey are being enriched through this programme, which explores rhymes and songs in the celebration of their unique culture and language. The South African programme is aptly named “The wonderful world of nursery rhymes” / “Die wonderlike wereld van rympies”/ “Izicengcelezo ezimnandi zabantwana abancinane” to make this celebration more accessible and truly local.
“Every culture and language has traditional rhymes and songs that are passed down the generations, and these can be used to promote children’s learning and development,” said Marion Green-Thompson, Economic Development Director of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, who has funded this educational programme.
Rhymes and songs promote a sense of identity and belonging, enrich children’s language skills, sharpening their ability to identify sounds, which is an essential skill for later reading. It also promotes concepts of numeracy and enhances physical development through movement.
Fairy tales and rhymes are fundamentally the first introduction to reading for young people everywhere. In 1987 it was determined that fairy tales were so essential to reading development, that a day needed to be established to bring awareness to, and encourage the use of reading in preschool environments through stories and nursery rhymes.
“Tales are important in all cultures, they introduce concepts of fantasy and challenge us to be better by considering the moral implications of our actions,” added Green-Thompson.