As we introduced last week, Early Literacy is what a child knows about reading or writing long before he or she can actually read or write. One part of this knowledge is simply hearing and learning spoken language. Singing is such an excellent way to share new words with babies, toddlers, and even preschoolers!
One simple way to start is to take a familiar nursery song – or anything with a catchy tune – and put new words to it. Use it to describe your own (or your baby’s) actions or experiences. They’ll start to associate this song and the new words they learn in it with this activity – even if they don’t understand the whole concept just yet. Use your child’s name in the song if it fits (or even if it doesn’t really fit!), and make nonsense rhymes to keep it fun. Bonus points if you use the song to make an unexciting activity fun, silly, or at least memorable!
When you’re in the kitchen, use “If You’re Happy and You Know It” to sing “We’re going to chop it up and put it in the pot,” or try “Brush, brush, brush your teeth” to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”
Silly? Most definitely. Memorable? I hope so! New words and concepts? For your little one, everything is new. Putting it to a tune can help it stick.