I can already hear the excuses:
"I don't have any musical abilities!"
"I can't carry a tune to save my life."
"No one would want to hear me sing...."
Wrong! Your baby wants to hear your voice. There is nothing sweeter to your baby's ears than your voice, no matter how off-key you are. Not only do they want to hear your voice, it's important that they hear your voice. Studies have shown that singing with your child helps build their vocabulary and phonological awareness. Songs slow down the sounds in words so it makes it easier for your child to hear the words clearly.
Although singing can introduce fun new words and breaks down the sounds slowly, it's still important for you to help explain what those words mean. How many times as children did we repeat the rhyme "Little Miss Muffet" and think, "What exactly are curds and whey?"
Some entertaining ways to increase your child's vocabulary is to use your singing voice to describe words. One of my favorite rhymes is Two Little Black Birds. I like the version of the black birds sitting on a cloud:
"Two Little Black Birds sitting on a cloud;
One named soft;
The other named LOUD!;
Fly away soft;
Fly away LOUD;
Come back soft;
Come back LOUD!"
As I sing the rhyme, I use my voice to sing quietly at soft and sing loudly at loud. Another rhyme I like to do is the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and then I like to change it up to "The Great Big Spider." When doing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" I use a tiny, small quiet voice. For the "Great Big Spider" I use a deep, booming voice to indicate how big he is.
To learn more about the benefits of singing with and to your child check out Early Childhood News
And remember to
Sing loud! and
Come enjoy songs, rhymes, and stories at The Sherman Public Library. For babies birth to 18 months (or sturdy walkers) come to Baby & Me, every Monday at 10:00 AM at the MLK Building (1003 N. East Street). Storytime is on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00 AM also at the MLK Building. We hope to see you there!