In a world of apps, eBooks and streaming, it is hard to believe that something as simple as a few verses of “Baby Shark” could make much of a difference on your child’s brain. Although it may be driving some people crazy, it’s actually helping children learn! Research has shown, that simple songs and nursery rhymes can help your child learn language and literacy skills. Here’s how:
Repetition is Key!
Children benefit from repetition and review of concepts, and the right kind of children’s songs have the repetition necessary to really make developing language concepts stick. Through interactive finger play songs and chants, children can learn new words to grow their vocabulary and basic concepts, such as loud/quiet, up/down, in/out, as well as number concepts. They can also develop cognitive skills, such as memory, sequencing and attention by singing songs and chants that have many verses such as “The Ants Go Marching” and “Going on a Bear Hunt.”
Try these songs with little ones to encourage memory, sequencing, attention and language skills:
“Do You Know the Muffin Man?”
“Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee”
“Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich”
“Five Little Ducks”
“Round and Round the Garden”
“John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt”
Get them Moving!
Children learn best when they see it, hear it, say it and move it. Songs with movements and gestures are the perfect match for this learning style.
These songs all have hand and body movements to match the words!
“Hurry Hurry, Drive the Fire Truck”
“Five Little Ducks”
“Icky Sticky Bubble Gum”
“Open Shut Them”
“Where is Thumbkin?”
It’s Rhyme Time!
Rhyming is an essential reading readiness skill. Songs and chants that rhyme help your children learn to play with and to explore the sounds of language. Even before they know the alphabet, rhyming can teach them the pre-literacy skills they will need to sound out words and to identify sound patterns in words. Research has shown that children who are taught nursery rhymes at an early age have better reading skills than those who were not exposed to them.
See if the children you care for can remember these rhymes!
“Down By the Bay”
“Willoughby Wallaby Woo”
“The Name Game Song”
“I Like to Eat Apples and Bananas”
“This Old Man”
“Hickory Dickory Dock”
Chants, nursery rhymes and simple songs with repetitive tunes and verses have been shown to help children to learn language, reading and important cognitive skills. From bedtime to bath time, and even while waiting in line at the store, integrating songs into your daily routine will help your child to develop a strong foundation upon which language and literacy skills can grow. So when you are singing your hundredth rendition of “Baby Shark,” remember the impact you are making in the brain of your child, because one day the sound of your child’s first word or listening to a story she has learned to read, will be music to your ears.