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October 8, 2009

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Nursery rhymes go out of favor

NURSERY rhymes are losing ground in Britain's affections, according to a survey yesterday, with many parents finding them too old fashioned and of no educational value.

But for those who still believe, the favorite has proved to be "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" ahead of "Incey Wincey Spider" and "Round and Round the Garden."

Only a third of more than 2,500 parents surveyed use nursery rhymes regularly with their children, while almost a quarter admit they have never sung a rhyme with their child.

The poll, for National Bookstart Day tomorrow, also found more than a fifth of young parents did not use nursery rhymes because they were not considered educational.

The survey also revealed that:

-- The younger generation no longer knows all the words to traditional rhymes: over 74 percent of 55-plus year olds knew all the words to "Little Miss Muffet," versus only 58 percent of 16-24 year olds.

-- Men are far less confident about singing nursery rhymes. Only 52 percent of men surveyed knew all the words to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" compared to 83 percent of women.

-- Sixty-three percent of parents said they used nursery rhymes because they make children laugh, while 18 percent use them instead of reading a bedtime story.

-- "Humpty Dumpty," "Jack and Jill" and "Baa Baa Black Sheep" were the rhymes that parents most easily recalled.

The favorite top five:

1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

2. Incey Wincey Spider

3. Round and Round the Garden

4. Baa Baa Black Sheep

5. The Grand Old Duke of York.


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