Nursery rhymes are a classic memory from everyones childhood, and these simple songs can benefit students in many different ways. They can teach core early literacy skills such as rhyming, spelling, phonetic awareness and word recognition. They can also teach students to sing in rhythm, hand co-ordination with matching actions, and confidence to perform in front of others.
A new app from ABC Reading Eggs, Eggy Nursery Rhymes, uses traditional nursery rhymes to complement interactive literacy games. The app includes ten different nursery rhymes (including Baa Baa Black Sheep, Hey Diddle Diddle, Humpty Dumpty, and my favorite, Incy Wincy Spider), and for each rhyme there are five individual activities. Some of the activities focus on interacting with the song itself, and others help build reading skills. The activities include:
- Sing Along – The simplest of all the games involves singing along to the nursery rhyme with a bouncy ball (like karaoke). This is a effective way of teaching young children what words look like, and how words are sounds relate to each other. The activity also demonstrates word spacing and direction, which are fundamental literacy skills. The songs are complemented with colorful animations and each time the song is finished, the player is reinforced with applause.
- Make Your Own – This activity allows players to interact with the nursery rhyme screen. They can create their own animation to go with the song by dragging and dropping pictures from the edge of the screen. This is a useful task for teaching sequencing and comprehension skills.
- Find the Word – Another simple but effective interactive literacy game involves players selecting the egg with a matching word. It is a good method of teaching word recognition skills.
- Starts With – We particularly liked this activity which builds phonetic awareness and alphabetical ordering skills. Players have to focus on the first sound of each word, and find the letter through a letter wheel that makes the sound.
- Make the Word – A age old favorite of unjumbling letters to create a word that teaches word formation, spelling and letter recognition.
The app motivates players to continue playing by giving them eggy rewards to collect for their efforts. These then hatch into cute creatures. The screens and graphics that show the nursery rhymes are colorfully designed, and the music is catchy and clear. A nice feature the app uses is having the nursery rhymes in three different accents, UK, Australian and US.
We found that this app had more features and educational benefits that many similar apps of this type. A good deal of effort has been made by the developers to make the app long lasting and progressive. With so many songs and activities, the app can be replayed countless times, and players can build up their literacy skills over time by moving through the five different activities. This app is well worth the small cost not only because of its numerous activities and content, but also because of its understanding of how young minds progress. Its features support literacy development over time, and we would recommend this app for any parent or pre-school teachers app library.
Download the app here for £1.99.