Why is Pat-a-Cake so Popular After Hundreds of Years? | Musical Play

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

There’s a very good reason this wee rhyme has been popular for over 300 years. In fact, it is one of the oldest nursery rhymes on record and it is still sung all over the world today. But why?

Why is Pat-a-Cake so Popular After Hundreds of Years? | Musical Play

There are a number of reasons this nursery rhyme is a very important little piece of music for babies and preschoolers.

- The rhythm in this spoken rhyme is very strong and slow

- The actions provide a way to impress the beat onto the baby, giving them sensory feedback about rhythm

- The claps allow time for baby to take over the actions, demonstrating they understand the game and are developing a sense of timing!

- Songs that include personal elements (the letter of the child’s name) always delight and engage small children

- The rhythms become complex in the second half of the rhyme – this “syncopation” engages both the adult and the child’s brain and makes it interesting

- It is short, sweet and repetitive. The winning combination!

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