How do nursery rhymes promote cognitive development? Well, it depends upon the nursery rhyme!
Some teach the skill of sequencing by telling a story with a beginning, middle, and end. (Ex. Little Miss Muffet, Three Little Kittens, Jack and Jill)
Some teach math skills because they include patterns, numbers, and vocabulary related to size and weight (Ex. 1 2 3 4 5 Once I Caught a Fish Alive, 1 2 Buckle My Shoe)
Some introduce alliteration which aids memorization skills (ex. Pease Porridge Hot, Ring Around the Rosies),
Some include onomatopoeia - which are often spoken as some of babies’ first words (ex. Baa Baa Black Sheep).
Some include imaginative imagery which sparks creative pretend play. Imaginative play has many cognitive benefits, including development of flexible thinking and formation of mental “schemas” or patterns that shape their understanding of the world.