Jul 26, 2013

Babies and Toddlers and Music!


Even though a young child is not talking or is in the first steps of learning a language, he/she can still communicate and enjoy songs through other forms of communication. If a song comes on that a child enjoys he/she will inevitably display facial expressions or body language that the particular song is a favourite. A child might clap his/her hands or jump up and down, perhaps even do a little dance.

Baby Communication

If an older baby or young toddler likes the music playing or is familiar with a song being sung, there are signs of communication.
  • eye widening
  • looking to where the music is playing
  • feet kicking
  • smiling
  • arms flapping
  • clapping
  • pointing
  • jumping up and down
  • dancing
  • actions from the song

Beyond Action Songs

Fingerplay and action songs have been the most well known way of allowing young children to participate with a song without actually singing the words. Thus, when singing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider", a child will bring his/her hands down to represent rain or turn his hands around and around to make the "Wheels on the Bus". But, there are still other ways that young children can communicate through visual presentations about what songs they want to hear.

Letting the Child Choose

With each option, a baby or toddler can choose the song to sing or listen to. One of the easiest ways of offering the choice is to place an item in each hand and then presented the items for a baby to choose from. Look for the baby's communication, such as a pointing gesture or smile. Following are some suggestions:

1. Song Cards: cards with pictures/symbols which represent the song, such as a star for "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". These cards work well as magnets.

2. Felt Stories: felt pieces on a flannel board illustrating the song, such as "Old Macdonald Had a Farm"

3. Songs Books: Many musicians publish their lyrics into a book format. A good example is Raffi's "Baby Beluga"

4. Puppets: Glove puppets and other similar props can be presented for a baby to choose.


 
The Benefits of Music for Language Development

Singing songs with repetitive lyrics encourages language development with babies and toddlers. Listening to the same word again and again in an appealing format of music, will encourage the process. Many children's first words come out of classic songs as the melodic sounds can be very conducive for learning. Music is an integral component of creating a rich environment for children of all ages.

Further Reading Suggestions:

Action Songs for Toddlers


Jul 25, 2013

Preschool Songs for All About Me Theme

 
 
All About Me is a great theme to include into a 3-5 year old curriculum. Commonly the theme is chosen to begin a preschool year, but focusing on the individuality of each child is a good topic any time of the year!

The following song includes actions:

Song #1  I am Special
(to the tune of Frere Jacques)

First ask the children to all stand up with their hands on their hips to sing:

I am special, I am special
You will see, you will see

Then turn around on the spot and sing

Someone very special, someone very special,

Ending with arms stretched right up in the air

Yes! It's me. Yes! It's me.


Song#2 This is the Way...To Keep Our Bodies Healthy
              (to the tune of Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush)

Often an All About Me theme is overlapped with Health and Nutrition, and this a great song for such a topic. Including actions with the words makes the song more fun to sing for young children, and easier to learn.

This is the way we wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands
This is the way we wash our hands, to keep our bodies healthy.

This is the way we eat good food, eat good food, eat good food
This is the way we eat good food, to keep our bodies healthy.

Other verses:
This is the way we exercise
This is the way we go to sleep

Suggestion: Ask the children for ideas and include into the song!


Song #3  My Fingers are Starting to Wiggle
               (to the tune of The Bear Went Over the Mountain)

A great song to sing anytime at a circle time! Helps children identify body parts and participate with movement.

My fingers are starting to wiggle, my fingers are starting to wiggle, my fingers are starting to wiggle
Around around around.

(My hands, arms, head, are starting to wiggle, etc.)   My whole body's starting to wiggle,
My whole body's starting to wiggle,
My whole body's starting to wiggle,
I guess I'll just sit down.



Song #4 Shaker Shaker
              (any tune that works)

A good song for group participation and togetherness. To begin this song, find something that will shake and make some noise.


Shaker, shaker, (child's name)
Shake it like you can,
Shake it like a milkshake
And pass it to your friend.


Further reading suggestion : All About Me Book

                                              Preschool Songs for Friendship Theme







Jul 2, 2013

Dinosaur Preschool Songs

 
Dinosaurs: a commonly loved topic among most preschoolers! Following are some preschool songs to include into a dinosaur theme:


Song #1 Do You Know?

(To the tune of Do You Know the Muffin Man)

Oh, do you know the stegosaurus?

The stegosaurus, the stegosaurus?

Oh, do you know the stegosaurus?

He had plates upon his back.

Add.....Verses

Apatosaurus......he has a very long neck.

Tyrannosaurus rex......he was very fierce.

Triceratops....he has three big horns.


Song#2 We Were Dinosaurs

(To the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)

We were dinosaurs from long ago,
You could find us high and low

In the grass, and on the sand
In the water and on the land

We were dinosaurs from long ago,
You could find us high and low.



Song #3 The Dino Pokey

(To the tune of Hokey Pokey)

A great way to sing this song at a circle time is to provide each child with a dinosaur stick and for everyone to stand up!


You put the dino up, you put your dino down,
You put your dino up and you shake him all around
You do the dino pokey and you turn yourself around
Two stomps on the ground!

You put your dino in the front, you put your dino in the back
You put your dino in the front, and you give your knee a whack
You do the dino pokey and you turn yourself around
Two stomps on the ground!

You put your dino to your head, you put your dino to your toe
You put your dino to your head, and you wobble to and fro
You do the dino pokey and you turn yourself around
Two stomps on the ground!


Further resources:

Dinosaur Preschool Lesson Plan

Dinosaur Felt Board Story