Singing to your child can do a lot of wonderful things. Calm down babies at night. Have fun interactive play. Stop meltdowns in the car (well maybe not full-blown meltdowns, but it can stave off some, if used early enough). Teach rhythm, poetry and mental recall. It can also bring back happy memories of worry free days. Give your kids the gifts of music and song – not from the radio (they will have PLENTY of teenage memories of what’s on the radio) but from you singing together. Begin by making a list of all of the songs that you remember from when you were a child. Here are some of my favorites:
- Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
- Itsy Bitsy Spider
- There was a little house in the middle of the woods
- I’m a Little Fire Engine
- How much is that doggie in the window?
- The Grandfather Clock
- Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree
- James, James – hold the ladder steady!
- Any Disney Song
- Children gospel/church songs (i.e. This Little Light of Mine)
- Christmas songs – Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, etc.
- Fifty Nifty United States.
- The Candy Man
Don’t worry about the words (most are listed on the internet if you must have them or have forgotten) create new words if you need to. Make the song uniquely about your child or children. Very young children will love the songs with actions. Use songs for silly things like keeping them quiet and entertained while changing diapers, bathtime, brushing teeth, etc. Use old melodies and write new words to help kids learn and get things done. For example, a dear friend made up songs that taught her grandchildren how to spell their names.
(To the tune of L.O.V.E by Nat King Cole – A is for your pretty Angel eyes, N is cause I’ll Never leave your side, one more N is cause you’re Nice to all who pass you by, and E is for a girl who’s Extra super cute and fun – (skip to the last line in the song here) oh Anne you’re made to be my friend! )
What songs are your family favorites? Have you done any word rearranging to favorite tunes? When do you sing at home the most?