Singing with children is a way to share language other than talking.
Songs and rhyme are easy to include in a daily routing. Try singing songs and saying rhymes that you know from your childhood during the day.
Rhymes can also be a part of play time. A lot of baby rhymes have actions that go with them, this makes language a fun part of play and again helps develop bubs language skills.
Of course repetition is important, and songs and rhyme are not only full of the repetition of chorus and verse, but you repeat them over and over to your baby and child as they grow.
They will come to have favourite songs and rhymes and associate certain ones with different family members. I still remember the songs my dad sang when we were children, perhaps you do too.
Song and rhyme can become part of their childhood memories.
You can sing lullabies to help your child go to sleep every night as part of their bed time routine.
Sometimes singing will calm a baby when nothing else will. Your voice is one of the things bub recognises the strongest from their time in the womb, along with having become familiar with your smell and of course face from birth.
It is a great idea to choose one song that you can sing to bub all the time, if you sing a particular song to them from birth then you can use it to calm baby when needed.
My husband started singing ‘Waltzing Matilda’ to bub from the day we got home from hospital, and I quickly learnt the words and tune. We sing it to our bub all the time (daily when she was younger).
Sing to them when they are happy. For example when feeding, cuddling or out on a walk. This means they associate the song and your voice with good times.
When baby is in distress you can then use a know and familiar song to calm them. I have used Waltzing Matilda a number of times to calm our bub, especially if she gets distressed or is hungry when we are driving somewhere.
I have sung her to sleep with it when I forgot her dummy, calmed her when hungry and we were driving home and hubby has calmed her from a distressing crying fit when nothing was wrong but she just couldn’t stop crying.
Songs are a good way to support later reading. Simply by introducing bub to the rhythm of language.
For example, in many songs, there is a different note for each syllable, so children are hearing words being broken down into parts or syllables. This makes the words easier to hear and break down in their mind into sounds.
This supports phonological awareness, or hearing the smaller sounds in words.
Developing this skill helps children later sound out the words they read.
Rhymes and songs also have many interesting words. By telling rhymes and songs with different or unusual words to baby you are helping to develop their vocabulary.
Let us know your favourite nursery rhyme or song in the comments.