PARENTS

Have Nursery Rhymes Gone Out Of Fashion?

31/12/2009 08:31 | Updated 22 May 2015

Many parents no longer sing nursery rhymes to their children because they are too old-fashioned, according to a survey.

Apparently only 36% of parents regularly use nursery rhymes with their kids, while almost a quarter admit they have never sung a nursery rhyme with their child.

I'd love to know how these parents survive long car journeys.

After a five-hour trip back from the in-laws with our 11-month-old this Christmas, my throat was hoarse.

I had been singing all the way home to keep our daughter entertained – and it made me realise I need a bigger repertoire.

According to the survey carried out for National Bookstart Day this year, the nation's favourite nursery rhyme is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

The rest of the top ten were Incey Wincey Spider, Round and Round the Garden, Baa Baa Black Sheep, The Grand Old Duke of York, If You're Happy and You Know It, Humpty Dumpty, This Little Piggy, Ring a Ring a Roses and I'm a Little Teapot.

But believe me, that doesn't cover more than a couple of junctions of the M25.

Longer songs are better for a car journey – Old MacDonald, Ten in a Bed and the Wheels on the Bus are particularly useful.

When my daughter was tiny I sat down and learnt all the words to Teddy Bears' Picnic, which is another good long one.

I've also stolen quite a few songs from the brilliant Rhymetime sessions which take place at our local library – and at libraries across the country.

When I run out of nursery rhymes, pop songs also make an appearance. The Beatles are good for babies – nice tunes and rhythms. Yellow Submarine is usually a hit.

I've even been known to sing the whole of American Pie on one particularly long, tortuous car journey.

Recently Christmas songs have been popular – Jingle Bells is a particular favourite. But this has made me realise that actually I only know a few words of most Christmas songs and carols.

Sleep deprivation is an issue for many new parents, so what's needed are songs that are easy to learn, preferably repetitive with only a few changes for each verse. That, I reckon, is the ideal formula.

So what are your favourite songs to sing to your children?

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