At work, the staff and I like to have a good time. We love to sing throughout the day. I will be the first to admit, I will probably never make it on the next American Idol, however, the benefits of singing to children with speech delays are so overwhelming and it makes singing silly songs that much better!
Rather it’s listening to songs electronically or verbally, studies have shown that children who listen to music have had improvements in auditory memory, vocabulary development, phonological awareness, and communication development.
Before I tell you the top ten songs that we believe to be beneficial, here are three items to look for when searching for a new song to sing to your child.
1. Repetition and Wording
All children songs ideally are short, repetitive, and simple. The more children hear a word or phrase, the more likely they are to remember it and take part in singing it! Listen to songs that have an action taking place, such as “Pop! Goes the Weasel”. Kids absolutely love to act out the action words and tend to remember those more than other parts of the songs. You also want to make sure the words that the song has fits the children’s reading level… you wouldn’t want to sing a song that has a 5th grade vocabulary if the child is only at a 1st grade level. That will only make it confusing for them and possibly shut down as a result.
2. Modify or Add Lyrics
I love when songs have such a catchy beat to it, that you can basically use any phrase or word to make it your own. For example, if your child has trouble saying words that start with the letter “R”, but they really like the song “5 Little Ducks”, you have the freedom to change the lyrics to “5 Little Rabbits” instead! It still goes along with the rhythm that they like, and they are benefiting each time you sing it with them. Or let’s say your child really likes the song “Bringing Home A Baby Bumblebee” you can add extra verses to the song just like this video shows to help your child with any words they have trouble with.
3. Dancing and Movement
It may sound silly at first and you may feel a bit embarrassed, however dancing and showing movement while singing a song dramatically increases the chance your child will want to listen and be apart of it. They are going to want to dance and sing all because they see you doing so! Move your hands, stomp your feet, jump around, and get moving! If your child sees you’re having a good time, they will want to do the same. It also helps with your child’s speech motor skills, it’ll help them learn different beats and rhythms.
So, what are the top 10 songs that we recommend?
These songs are exactly what you need – simple, short, and repetitive. You can easily change them up or add to them to fit your child’s needs. The rhythm to each one of these songs is extremely catchy and also easy to dance to.
- Wheels on the Bus
- Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes (Fill in the blank! Head, Shoulders, ______? & Toes)
- A Baby Bumblebee (Add new verses to the song)
- 5 Little Ducks
- Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me
- Baby Shark (Hand movements!)
- Apples & Bananas (Helps with different sounds)
- Row, Row, Row Your Boat
- If You’re Happy and You Know It
- Old MacDonald Had A Farm (Learn any kind of animal sounds)
So, get ready to put your singing hat on and have some fun this week!