Children naturally love to do things over and over again and over again! Their innate insistence on repetition is extremely beneficial to learning because it provides children with predictability, which creates a feeling of safety and security. When I host Storytime, we sing the same songs at the beginning and end of every visit. This provides our regulars with a predictable routine and the confidence to join in.
In addition to building consistency, repetition also helps our brains develop memory skills! Having a strong working memory helps children remember instructions, recall and build upon past knowledge, and make connections between ideas. These skills are essential to success in school and life.
Remember grownups, your child doesn’t care if you “can’t” sing. You are their whole world and if you model enthusiasm and enjoyment, your child will too. Modeling is one of the strongest influencers in our children’s lives.
Here are some ways to incorporate singing into your child’s day:
- Add movement into singing time by bouncing and tickling your baby. Use the same movements each time you sing together.
- Introduce your child to the ASL sign for “more” so they can communicate to you when they want to do something again.
- Sing songs about getting dressed or cleaning up. This will build in routine and your child will begin to understand these transitional cues.
- If your child is reluctant to join in during social activities, that’s ok! Often after children gain familiarity with songs and rhymes, they’ll feel more confident participating.
- Sing songs that have a progressive, narrative structure. This helps children build an understanding of sequence: first, then, next.
- Dance to songs with rules in them. The “Freeze Dance” is a fun game that encourages self-control, listening, and memory skills.
- You can play this game with any song! Have your child dance when they hear music and freeze when you press pause, then repeat. It’s fun to add in different movements, like the robot or worm!
-Taylor, Children's Librarian at Quincie Douglas Library
Read, Write, Talk, Sing, Play!
Singing is incredibly engaging for children and has countless early literacy benefits, which include building vocabulary, slowing down language, developing memory skills, and so much more!
Read more about early literacy and how you can make a difference in your child's life.