Does the thought of singing make you break out in song? Or does the mere thought of humming a melody make you want to run for the hills?
I know a lot of people who say they can’t sing. That might be true around other adults, but I can assure you that everyone can sing to kids. Children do not know or care if you are off tune. All they hear is a sound that means joy, happiness and fun!
If you absolutely do not want to sing to your kids, then at least invest in some music CDs for kids. There are so many kids songs out there that there is no reason not to incorporate music into your children’s life.
There are many benefits of music for children. Here are seven reasons you should sing to your kids every day.
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1) Helps with Brain Development
We know that play and activity are important for brain development. So is music.
When you sing, play an instrument or listen to music it stimulates different regions of the brain.
These different areas of the brain are responsible for memory, motor control, timing and language.
Stimulating the brain by singing helps a child’s body and mind work together.
It helps their brains to make more neural connections which are vital to early development of the brain.
According to this site, “Music is essential to the developing brain as it helps to create and strengthen more neural connections that allow for auditory processing. The act of processing music stimuli elaborates the neural connections in the brain, influencing processing of auditory stimuli over the lifetime.”
2) Helps with Language Development
According to thespeechies.com, singing promotes language development and early literacy skills. The skills that singing can help develop are auditory discrimination, phonological awareness, vocabulary development and auditory memory.
Hearing songs over and over helps babies develop auditory discrimination which is the ability to differentiate sounds in their native language.
Singing songs with rhythm, rhyme and alliteration is a building block for phonological awareness.
Singing also helps your children learn new words which is instrumental in their vocabulary development.
Auditory memory is hearing information, processing it, retaining it and later recalling it. This important preschool skill can be reinforced by singing.
3) Teaches rhythm and rhyme
As already mentioned, rhythm and rhyme are both good pre-literacy skills.
Practice developing your child’s rhythm by singing nursery rhymes and clapping your hands, snapping your fingers or stomping your feet to the beat.
Kids who can rhyme are much more likely to have higher success in reading. That’s why I am a huge proponent of nursery rhymes like “Hey Diddle Diddle.” Most of them have fun tunes and silly rhymes.
4) Helps kids learn and retain basic skills
When my son started preschool, his teacher taught him a fun little song to help him remember how to wash his hands. I often hear him singing this song (set to the tune of “Are You Sleeping?”) whenever he cleans his dirty paws.
“Tops and bottoms, tops and bottoms
In between, In between Rub them all together, Rub them all together Now they’re clean! Squeaky clean!”
This song helps my son remember to wash the tops and bottoms of his hands as well as in between his fingers. He may not have remembered it as well had he not had the information set to a simple tune that he can
You can also take a simple familiar tune such as “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and rewrite it to include information (such as a phone number or address) you want your children to learn and remember.
Music can also help teach basic skills such as letters, numbers, shapes and colors. We all know the alphabet song set to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Try singing the alphabet to other tunes such as “Baa Baa Black Sheep” or “Do You Know the Muffin Man?”
Songs such as “Five Little Monkeys” or “Ten In a Bed” are a good way to teach numbers as well as simple subtraction.
This site has lots of cute songs for teaching shapes.
5) Grabs attention of kids
If you need your children to listen, start singing! It will get their attention immediately, especially if you don’t do it very often.
One way I like to get my kids to listen to me is to sing this song set to the tune of “Are You Sleeping?” Insert your children’s names where the blanks are.
“Are You Listening? Are You Listening?
______ & _______. _______ &________
Mommy wants to tell you something,
Mommy wants to tell you something,
Listen Up! Listen Up!”
(Of course, you can change the lyrics to suit your children and situation.)
I sang this song to my son the other day and he sang back to me:
“I am listening, I am listening, what do you want?”
I wasn’t expecting that, so of course it made me laugh. It also proved to me that singing to my children encourages and teaches them to sing as well.
Another way to get their attention is just to start singing any song. Belting out “BINGO” at the top of your lungs is sure to get their eyes and ears on you fast.
Don’t worry if your kids look at you like you have lost your mind. You accomplished what you wanted, right?
More than likely, they will be paying attention to you now!
6) Helps you bond with your kids
Singing, dancing and playing instruments together will help you and your children bond in a very memorable way.
Our son enjoys singing songs with me. He always wants to sing along with a CD or radio in the car.
Our daughter definitely enjoys listening to me sing to her while she is falling asleep. If she is crying or having a difficult time settling down, I start singing “Hush Little Baby.”
She almost always calms down immediately and listens to my voice. Before long, she drifts off to sleep for the night.
I am pretty sure she bonded with me via my singing before she was born. She would have heard me singing to her older brother while she was in utero. That may be why she easily calms down when I sing to her.
When you sing to your kids every day, you create a daily chance to bond with your children.
7) Instills a love for music
The more kids have exposure and interaction with music, the more they will love and appreciate it.
When you sing to your children you show them that music is important and enjoyable.
Growing up in an environment filled with melody will most likely instill a love and passion for music in your children.
If they have a love for music, it will have a wonderful effect on them their whole life. And they probably will pass that love of music unto their own children.
Sing to Your Kids Every Day
Sing lullabies to your babies and silly songs and nursery rhymes to your toddlers and preschoolers. Sing other fun songs to your older kids.
And if you still can’t abide the thought of singing, do whatever you can to ensure they are surrounded by music every day.
The reasons for surrounding your kids with song are so beneficial. It will help with your children’s brain development and language development.
Singing to your kids will teach them rhythm and rhyme and help them learn and retain basic skills.
Singing will grab your kids attention, help you bond with them and instill a love of music in them.
So go find your kids and start bonding and making memories via singing today!