When I’m not working as a mom, I double as a pediatric speech language therapist who works with infants, toddlers and preschoolers. So, no matter what hat I’ve got on, I’m always thinking about the importance of surrounding kids with language. Research has shown that the more language children hear, the earlier children talk and the more advanced their language skills become. One of the very best ways to surround your child with predictable, fun language is to sing to them. Despite the fact that I am not the best at carrying a tune (some would say that this is an understatement), I am always singing with my kids, both at home and at work. Luckily, infants and toddlers don’t have the best discriminating ears! I sing because I know that if I sing with them enough, some of their earliest words and gestures will be to sing along with me. With that in mind, here are my top 10 favorite songs for babies and toddlers.
1. The Itsy Bitsy Spider
To keep this song going, I like to also sing about the GREAT BIG spider.
2. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
A great one to add gestures to. Open and shut your hands for twinkle, point up to the sky, shape your hands like a diamond as you sing.
3. Row Your Boat
Kasia love this one. I sit her up on the floor, take her hands, and rock her back and forth as we sing. I sing the first verse as normal and then sing “Rock rock rock your boat/Gently to the shore/And if you see a lion/Don’t forget to roar! And then we roar. :)
4. Wheels on the Bus
Another great one to add actions to. We love to do this one in the bath, so we can swish and hit the water as we do the actions to the song.
5. You Are My Sunshine
James and Kasia both loved this one. We always sing it as we rock to sleep at night. It was one of the very first songs to make Kasia smile.
6. I’m A Little Teapot
Another of Kasia’s favorites right now. I hold her on my lap and lift her up when the song sings “When I get all steamed up” and tip her over when the song instructs me to do so. She rewards me with big smiles each and every time. Plus my arms get a good workout.
7. Rock A Bye Baby
Another good rocking song. The normal end strikes me as a bit too violent, though, so I always sing “When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall/And mommy will catch you, cradle and all” instead. James and I would rock to this one for a long time, inserting lots of different people into the song to do the catching at the end.
8. Old MacDonald Had A Farm
The speech therapist in me loves this song because animal sounds are often some of the first sounds kids make, mainly because they are so simple to produce. Moo and baa away.
9. If You’re Happy and You Know It
It’s hard not to smile while singing this song. Plus it’s great for getting kids to imitate actions (which often leads to imitating language!).
10. The Little Green Frog
My all time favorite for eliciting giggles from kids (who doesn’t like to see adults sticking out their tongues while they sing?). And if your kids start singing the song, you get to make really cute little videos like the one of this little girl.
- ▼ March (5)