Photograph of a young child playing a ukulele

Sharing music and singing together are great ways to connect, educate, and have fun with the children in your life. HCPL librarians have some tips for ways you and your little ones can get creative and learn together through music.

Music and singing support a child’s language development and create fun, quality bonding experiences. The Basics, a research-based set of principles for nurturing a child’s growth during the early years, encourages caregivers to “Talk, Sing, & Point” with infants & toddlers. Sing as often as you can together!

Repeated words and rhyming sounds are especially helpful for infants and toddlers. When they hear words being sung, they get better at recognizing the smaller sounds that make up words and making word predictions. Nursery rhymes and early childhood ‘standards’ such as “Wheels on the Bus” or “Old MacDonald’s Farm,” are great because they are repetitive and easy to remember.

While singing songs over and over is very important for young children, who rely and thrive on consistency, changing things up can give us important opportunities to connect more deeply with our children. Rewriting a well-known children’s song is a great way to have new music to sing together. You can rewrite the words completely or simply add new movements or content to a classic.

Here is a video example of a simple rewrite of the “Wheels on the Bus.”

Here are some tips to get you started rewriting children’s songs for you and your child:

Here are some additional resources about the benefits of music for children:

The Benefits of Music Education from PBS.org

7 Music Games for Practicing Self-Regulation from PBS.org

"Music Improves Baby Brain Responses to Music and Speech" from the University of Washington