Singing to and with your child is one of the most effective ways for them to discover and learn language. When we sing, we use rhythm, which allows our brains to process words more effectively. Music is proven to assist with memory retention, so the more you sing to your child, the more they will learn and remember. Think of it like this. Have you ever heard a song come on the radio that you have not heard in years, but somehow, here you are, singing along. Well, a child learning through music is no different. By singing nursery rhymes to your child, you can help them to identify sound patterns and learn through repetition, building the foundation for literacy and numeracy.
And for those of you out there who are not big fans of your singing voice, not to worry because you are the first person your child will ever hear sing, so they will actually think you are kind of amazing! Who would have thought that tricking a baby or toddler would be so empowering for you and good for their development? LOL! All jokes aside, studies have actually proven that children learn best from their primary caregivers. You are the one your child sees every day, so hearing your voice is an effective tool in their development.
Slow it down
Kids don’t always know the words to songs and rhymes, just like us. Singing a song slowly might feel a bit odd at first, but when we do, it helps them to learn the words and actions. As they learn, they will become more confident to join in with the song.
Change it up
Try making up a song about what you did today or the things you see while you are out and about. You can even change the words to your favourite nursery rhymes to introduce new words. Having fun with language helps to keep your child engaged and learning.
Rinse and repeat
Repeat songs! Sometimes this is difficult when you are on the 100th rendition of Twinkle Twinkle for the day. But just remember, the more your child hears them, the better chance they have of learning the words.
Tips to remember
- It is never too early to start
- Your child loves your voice, even if you don’t!
- Babies and little ones learn best from looking at your face
- Sing slowly, do the actions and repeat often.
If you are feeling a bit rusty, use this list of songs to get you started:
- Open/shut them
- Galumph went the little green frog
- Row row row your boat
- Head, shoulders, knees and toes
- If you’re happy and you know it
For more inspiration, watch Rhymes with Ryan.
Top things to borrow from the library:
- Board books – chunky books, excellent for younger children
- Picture books – lots of hidden gems, there are thousands of stories to be explored
- eAudiobooks and Music CD’s are great to use in the car
- Stream music on Freegal using your library member number.
- Sunshine Coast Libraries - First5Forever.
- Watch the Library's YouTube channel.
- Popular nursery rhymes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
- Download the free Baby Karaoke app on your device.
- Download the free Speak app on your device.
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