If there’s one thing I learned as an early childhood teacher, it’s that CHILDREN LOVE MUSIC. Who doesn’t? Music is the universal language…the connector of cultures…it can change our mood almost instantaneously…bring people together…move us to tears…help us remember things…Children love to sing and be sung to.
So why sing to our kiddos?
Why not sing to them?
I’ve heard parents (and teachers) say the following:
“I can’t sing!”
“I have a horrible voice.”
“I’m too shy.”
“I don’t know any songs.”
Let me just stop you right there. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there is no way you don’t know a single song. You know a song. Even if it’s the “Happy Birthday” song. You know A song. And if you only know that one song, you can always make one up!
It’s not about the quality of your voice…kids don’t care about that! Kids love to sing and be sung to. Honestly, kids don’t care if you sing out of tune or off tempo. Music often goes hand in hand with movement. Are you laughing together? Having fun? Moving to the beat? Little Johnny doesn’t care that you won’t be on American Idol any time soon.
Are you a professional singer? Competing in a contest? Most likely, the answer is no. Your child will not judge you on how well you sing. She’ll just remember that you sang to her and with her. And you don’t have to sing for a large audience. You just need to perform for your audience of one. (Or two or three, depending on how many littles you have!) So…get over that shyness and start belting out those tunes.
Language development during the early months and years of a child’s life is SO important. Exposing your child to language through reading, talking, and singing helps enhance her vocabulary down the road. She’s a sponge right now, soaking up all of the language you are exposing her to. Make it count!
When it’s time to switch gears…What better way to start putting those toys away than with a song? Or signal that it’s time to start winding down for bed by singing? Songs are a fun way to transition between activities.
Songs are also a great way to remember things. The Alphabet Song is a great example of this! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to sing the song (silently, in my head) to figure out what letter comes next!
Singing is fun.
Singing is free.
Singing can be soothing. It is a part of our daily routine for naps/bedtime. I have a plethora of songs in my musical briefcase…Hubs gets creative and makes up his own songs!
“Ok, ok, ok! You say to yourself. I’ll sing to my babe. But honestly, I don’t know more than five songs. And they’re hair metal songs! What now?”
For your musical pleasure, I give to you…
I sing a random mix of songs, ranging from songs I sang while I taught early childhood to religious hymns (16 years of Catholic education = A LOT of church music) to Disney tunes.
I hope you enjoy! Happy singing!