Nursery Rhymes are a great way to introduce children to the joys of reading. As these are often a child's first experience with written language, their first impressions of reading will be built on the relationships they observe. Spending quality time in a positive atmosphere can help our children develop a love of reading early in their lives.
As with any "literature," nursery rhymes introduce children to new vocabulary and expand the world of their understanding (and imagination). Children can learn about places and things they have never seen before. They can also begin to understand different cultures.
Since most nursery rhymes contain several rhyming words, they have the added advantage of helping children make predictions about how each line will end. This also helps children learn to memorize.