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The Benefits of Singing with Children

"I can't carry a tune in a bucket. Nobody wants to hear me sing."

Absolutely not true! Your children want and need to hear you singing to them and with them. Music and singing provide a surprising array of benefits that will help your children as they begin reading and writing, and as they prepare to enter school. Here are some great reasons to share some tunes today.

  • S-l-o-w it down: Singing slows language down so that children can hear the individual sounds that make up words and notice how they are alike and different. Having heard lots of language sounds will be immensely helpful to your children as they begin sounding out words and learning to read. Sing songs with rhyming words, silly nonsense words, long stretched out words, and don't forget the animal sounds! The more sounds they hear, the better off they will be, so sing often.
  • Words, words, and more words: Songs introduce lots of new vocabulary words that aren't found in daily speech. Not many people use the terms "twinkle" or "water spout" in day-to-day life, but songs are full of rare words that children may never hear otherwise. Expand their knowledge with singing!
  • Do you remember?: Songs help children build memory. How many of us have forgotten facts we memorized in elementary school, but can still sing the songs we learned in music class? It's simply easier to remember something that is set to music, which is why most of us learn the letters of the alphabet, the days of the week, and other basic information through songs. Remember that children learn through repetition, so don't be afraid to share your favorites over and over again.
  • Move to the beat!: Dancing, marching, and twirling along to music helps build the gross motor skills children need for walking, running, and playing. Smaller movements like clapping, snapping, and moving individual fingers develop the fine motor skills that are crucial to writing. Clapping along to a song also helps children hear the individual syllables in words.
  • Sing your way through the day: Sharing songs is a great and simple way to establish a routine and make life easier. Children are at their best when they know what to expect, and having a special song for cleaning up, meal times, and getting ready for bed helps maintain a routine and ease transitions from one activity to the next.
  • Check out the titles listed below for new songs to add to your repertoire as well as books that can be sung instead of read aloud. Need more ideas? Visit your nearest Richland Library location for inspiration. Learn new songs in storytime, or ask our knowledgeable staff for book and CD recommendations. Happy singing!


    This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt
    Amazon Says: In this toe-tapping jazz tribute, the traditional "This Old Man" gets a swinging makeover, and some of the era's best musicians take center stage. The tuneful text and vibrant more...
    Amazon Says: In this toe-tapping jazz tribute, the traditional "This Old Man" gets a swinging makeover, and some of the era's best musicians take center stage. The tuneful text and vibrant illustrations bop, slide, and shimmy across the page as Satchmo plays one, Bojangles plays two . . . right on down the line to Charles Mingus, who plays nine, plucking strings that sound "divine."    Easy on the ear and the eye, this playful introduction to nine jazz giants will teach children to count--and will give them every reason to get up and dance!     Includes a brief biography of each musician. less...
    Amazon


    Amazon Says: A favorite children's song brought to life with irresistible illustrations! Mother duck and her five fuzzy little ducklings venture out for a long walk one lovely spring day. more...
    Amazon Says: A favorite children's song brought to life with irresistible illustrations! Mother duck and her five fuzzy little ducklings venture out for a long walk one lovely spring day. One by one each plump little duckling wanders off in search of a very special present. When all have disappeared, lonely mother duck lets out a very sad quack and all her ducklings come waddling back! Each proudly carries a wonderful and thoughtful surprise for loving mother duck--a beautiful flower, a lucky four-leaf clover, a gorgeous seashell, a juicy berry, and a delicious worm! less...
    Amazon


    Amazon Says: Perfect for sharing between parent and child, this book is filled with some of the most popular childhood songs and games--"I'm a Little Teapot," "The Eensy Weensy Spider," an more...
    Amazon Says: Perfect for sharing between parent and child, this book is filled with some of the most popular childhood songs and games--"I'm a Little Teapot," "The Eensy Weensy Spider," and more. Full color. less...
    Amazon


    Amazon Says: A book of lullabies from various cultures, packaged with an audio CD. more...
    Amazon Says: A book of lullabies from various cultures, packaged with an audio CD. less...
    Amazon


    Amazon Says: What began as a spiritual has developed into one of America’s best-known songs, and now for the first time it appears as a picture book, masterfully created by award-winning more...
    Amazon Says: What began as a spiritual has developed into one of America’s best-known songs, and now for the first time it appears as a picture book, masterfully created by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson.Through sublime landscapes and warm images of a boy and his family, Kadir has created a dazzling, intimate interpretation, one that rejoices in the connectedness of people and nature. Inspired by the song’s simple message, Kadir sought to capture the joy of living in and engaging with the world. Most importantly, he wished to portray the world as a child might see it—vast and beautiful. less...
    Amazon


    The Wheels on the School Bus by Mary-Alice Moore
    Amazon Says: Footballs tossed in the air! Lunches scattered and drawings splattered! Hop on this big yellow bus for a crazy, rollicking ride on which the grown-ups are the troublemakers wh more...
    Amazon Says: Footballs tossed in the air! Lunches scattered and drawings splattered! Hop on this big yellow bus for a crazy, rollicking ride on which the grown-ups are the troublemakers while the kids are the ones trying to sit still.Laura Huliska-Beith creates a wonderfully zany world of bright color and chaos for a unique variation of the familiar song "The Wheels on the Bus." less...
    Amazon


    Amazon Says: A baby who howls all night, parents at their wits’ end, and a big sister who accidentally-on-purpose starts it all--these are the players in this delightful interpretation o more...
    Amazon Says: A baby who howls all night, parents at their wits’ end, and a big sister who accidentally-on-purpose starts it all--these are the players in this delightful interpretation of a timeless folk tune. Available for the first time as a board book, Marla Frazee’s story-in-pictures is a perfect lullaby. less...
    Amazon


    Amazon Says: It is the first day at Mulberry School and everything is going wrong for one shy little pig. Embarrassed and upset by the morning's mishaps, he decides he would rather hide un more...
    Amazon Says: It is the first day at Mulberry School and everything is going wrong for one shy little pig. Embarrassed and upset by the morning's mishaps, he decides he would rather hide under the mulberry bush than play with the other children. Luckily, he soon makes the wonderful discovery that a friend can turn up in the most unlikely place. . . . Bringing the same imaginative brilliance to this traditional song that made his Down by the Station a success, Will Hillenbrand has created a reassuring book for anyone who starts school with first-day jitters. Also features the music and lyrics for the popular nursery song. less...
    Amazon


    Amazon Says: Playground songs and classroom songs, silly songs and sweet songs, wake-up songs and bedtime songs . . .Every day, children, parents, friends, brothers, and sisters sing songs more...
    Amazon Says: Playground songs and classroom songs, silly songs and sweet songs, wake-up songs and bedtime songs . . .Every day, children, parents, friends, brothers, and sisters sing songs to one another. Nina Crews brings her energetic style of illustration to this collection of thirty-four perennial favorites. From "Miss Mary Mack" (watching fireworks from her balcony) to "London Bridge" (built by a brother and sister in the living room) to "Skip to My Lou" (in a rolling green park), the songs make this companion to the acclaimed The Neighborhood Mother Goose a treasure for every child in every neighborhood. less...
    Amazon

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