Singing can be a truly joyful activity, and it also boasts a number of benefits for pre-readers. Songs help children remember things–that’s how many children initially learn their ABCs. Songs introduce children to new vocabulary, and they also offer plenty of examples of rhyming words. One of the greatest benefits of singing with children, however, is the fact that singing slows down our speech and pronunciation of words. This slowing makes it easier for children to start to hear the different sounds that we make in spoken language.
A great way to have fun with your child while developing this knowledge of letter sounds is to sing silly songs where you play around with the words. One of my favorite’s is Raffi’s “Apples and Bananas”:
Kids love this silly song. They enjoy the goofiness of making nonsense words by adding new sounds to familiar words. I like to encourage children to tell me what sounds they want to try in the song–I will show them letter options of A, E, I, O, and U, and they get to choose the order in which we try them out in our song. This process helps reinforce letter knowledge as well as sound recognition. It also gives the children a feeling of being the leaders of the silliness, which makes the whole experience even more fun.
What are your favorite songs to sing with the children in your life?