Sing, sing a song. Sing out loud! Sing out strong! Singing to and with your baby, toddler, and preschooler is not just a fun way to bond but is also a great way to stimulate language development. And the good thing is that your child will not judge your singing abilities so there is no need to worry about carrying a tune or a bucket! How does singing help your child? Singing promotes early language and literacy skills in a multitude of ways.
Auditory discrimination is a child’s ability to recognize differences in sounds in his or her native language. By singing songs over and over again, auditory discrimination skills are being reinforced.
Auditory memory is a child’s ability to hear information presented orally, process the information, retain it, and then recall the information at a later time. This is an important skill for a child to develop and use academically. Singing songs with your child again and again help him or her learn the songs by heart, thus developing auditory memory.
Phonological awareness is a child’s ability to manipulate sounds and parts of words, such as rhyming. It is also a predictor of a child’s literacy skills. Singing songs that rhyme are a perfect way to help a child’s brain learn phonological awareness.
Singing also bolsters vocabulary development by introducing new words and new concepts. Therefore, singing is particularly important for children who may be displaying a language delay or for those who are at risk for developing one. Singing and speaking are housed in two different parts of the brain, giving your child’s brain a workout! So strike up a tune with your child! Here are some tips!
Where do I start?
Choose your favorite songs and sing them time and time again with your child. Repetition is key! Make any hand or body motions associated with the song. While singing, pause and allow your child space to fill in sounds, words, or motions. Be sure to give him or her enough “wait time.” Slow your rate of singing down to aid in this. If possible, face your child while singing, especially if he or she is a baby or has a language delay. This gives the child visual cues of the way your lips and/or mouth are moving.
What should I sing?
Sing songs that rhyme:
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Baa Baa Black Sheep
Sing songs about body parts:
If You’re Happy and You Know It
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
Sing songs about animals:
Farmer in the Dell
Sing counting songs:
Five Little Monkeys
Six Little Ducks
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
Wheels on the Bus
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
I’m A Little Teapot
Where can I sing?
Anywhere! There’s never a wrong place to break out in song! Well, maybe there are a few. But these places are perfect:
In the car
In the bathtub
During your bedtime routine
So don’t delay! Sing, sing a song! Remember, don’t let your singing abilities deter you and most importantly, have fun!!
Providence Pediatric Medical Daycare (PPMD) is a loving, caring environment for children with special medical needs in South Jersey, caring for medically fragile children from 0 to 5 years old. PPMD has daycare facilities located throughout Southern New Jersey, in Camden, West Berlin, and Atlantic City.
Stacy Billiard, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech and Language Pathologist at Providence Pediatric Medical Daycare Atlantic City Center