Songs are a natural way for children to learn about language because of their rhythm and rhyme. Singing slows down language so children can hear different parts of words and notice how they are alike and different.
Babies & Young Toddlers
- Singing songs during diaper changes is a great way to keep your child focused and engaged. The more words your child hears, the more you are increasing their vocabulary.
- Try singing a familiar song during a particularly stressful time. Singing songs can help soothe your child and change their focus if they are in a stressful situation.
- Singing songs with body parts, like “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” helps create movement and helps your child learn about their anatomy.
- Sing “Old McDonald Had a Farm.” Try and change it up with ocean or jungle animals. Simply making animal noises helps a child develop the sounds that will form letters when they learn to talk. Using a familiar song to introduce new words and sounds will help a child connect the familiar with the new.
- Songs and rhymes have predictable rhythms and repetition that help slow language down so your baby can hear different letter and word sounds. As an added benefit, moving around during songs and rhymes helps develop motor skills and delivers oxygen to a child’s growing brain.
Older Toddlers & Preschool Children
- Try singing freeze songs. Freeze songs are a great way for children to listen, react, focus, and control their bodies. Fun freeze songs will also help increase oxygen to the brain!
- Singing songs like “Wheels on the Bus” enhances fine motor skills as children follow along with the actions of the song. This can also help with their imagination and creativity along with developing hand-eye coordination and learning through repetition in the song.
- Songs can help introduce your children to new words. Children do not care if you can carry a tune, so get silly and sing with them!
Check out our Early Literacy Tips series of blog posts here for additional activities to get your child ready to read.