Friday, July 24, 2009

Singing Songs With Little Ones

You need not be a contestant on American Idol for a young child to like your singing. In fact, I can't sing in-tune very well at all, yet young children like when I sing to them. Whether it be "Wheels on the Bus", "Pat-a-Cake", or some song you just made up off of the top of your head, go ahead and sing to your precious little child. If you teach at a preschool, daycare, or church, then build time for singing into your lessons.

Some ideas on how to make singing fun are:

  • Choose songs with motions. Kids love marching to "The Ants Go Marching", moving back-and-forth to "Row Your Boat", and clapping to "If You Are Happy & You Know It"

  • Make up silly verses and actions for that verse

  • For a child who is 10-18 months, pause intermittently and wait for them to say the next word of the song. For kids this age, stick to singing just a few songs over-and-over until they get the words and motion. Then, add new songs to their repertoire

  • Find books that are song books. I have the "5 Little Monkeys" book and my daughter likes to act out the motions as she looks at the book

  • Listen to kiddy music during car rides or when playing around the house. Many cable plans have music stations. Also, many CDs and tapes are available with children's music and nursery rhymes

The above ideas stimulate the senses. They are good for the tactile (touch) sense such as when clapping or turning the pages of a book. They stimulate the vestibular and proprioceptive senses when moving around and balancing during actions made to the song. The ideas also stimulate the visual sense, especially when the child watches your mouth to sing or imitates your actions. Of course the number one sense that is stimulated when singing is the auditory sense!

If you notice that your little one has problems with imitating motions or is sensitive to noise, then consider that he or she may have problems with sensory integration and processing. See for "red flags" to sensory processing problems.

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