Singing is an important pre-reading skill for kids to master, especially because of all the education benefits it provides. Singing slows down language so children can hear individual sounds and their differences. You're sounding out words with music!
Songs are also rich with new vocabulary, so children are constantly learning new words. Take traditional children's songs such as "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" or "The Itsy Bitsy Spider". How often do we use the words "twinkle" or "waterspout" in conversation? When you come across a new word, take the time to explain it and then keep on singing!
This month, make an effort to sing to your child everywhere--in the car, in the bathroom, at the park. Don't know how to start? Try at least one activity listed below:
- Check out an audio CD at your local library! If you want some recommendations, check out some of our favorites here.
- Sing the ABCs to a different tune. By singing the alphabet to the tune of "Mary had a Little Lamb", you actually break up the LMNOP sounds that usually get squished together. This way, kids can hear each distinct sound of the alphabet. Listen below.
- Attend storytime at your local library. Our storytimes are filled with stories and songs, and we'd love to teach you a new song. Check out our storytime offerings here.
- Make a musical instrument! Plastic eggs can be filled with rice or beans and then securely closed to make shakers. An empty tissue box and some rubber bands can become a guitar. Two paper plates and some beans can transform into a tambourine. You're well on your way to making a family band.
- Create your own silly songs! Pick a favorite tune and rewrite the words or just create your own tune. Everyone will be laughing as you play with language. Smiles all around, plus you'll have fond memories of your time spent singing.