Remember when you were little? Like, REALLY little? Did your mother, father, grandparents, or other caregiver say nursery rhymes with you? Which was your favorite?
The one that I do most often with my daughter is "There Was An Old Woman"
"There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do!
She gave them some broth without any bread,
Then scolded them soundly and sent them to bed."
Kind of a sad story. But my daughter gets so into the tone and facial expressions I use while telling it, that it's really become a bonding moment for us.
So, aside from building relationships over nonsensical (Hey Diddle Diddle), depressing (Ring Around the Roses), and trivial (Georgie Porgie) poems, why would we continue the tradition of sharing these nursery rhymes with our children?
"Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they're four years old, they're usually among the best readers by the time they're eight." [Fox, M. (2001). Reading Magic. San Diego, CA: Harcourt.]
So keep on singing those lullabies and reciting nursery rhymes. Change the words if the topics are too dark and gruesome for your children ;-) But continue preparing your children to read and enter the world of books!