Music brings language to life. Music can help your child communicate and can make language learning fun. Music can also help by soothing, calming, distracting, and by changing the mood. Music has a place throughout your child’s day, from a happy song you sing in the car, to songs you sing during play, to the soothing lullaby as the two of you snuggle up at bedtime.
Singing with your little one has so many benefits! Here are some strategies to use when singing:
- Sing a little slower. Sing slowly gives your child a chance to sing along and process the words in the song.
- Singing with an exaggerated intonation can be silly and fun! Singing with exaggerated intonation can make the song more fun and capture your child’s interest even more. The song becomes funny and fun and will encourage your little one to join in.
- Sing face to face. Your face provides so much information for your little one! They can watch your mouth move to form words and sitting face to face also gives them ability to look at you in the eyes.
- Let them fill in the blanks. Pause with anticipation during some points of your song and wait for your little on to fill in the blank. This will create more opportunities for your little one to communicate.
- Repeat the same songs over and over again! Repeating will help them get to know the songs and provide more opportunities for verbal expression.
- Singing songs with gestures and finger play. This encourages imitation of gestures and gross motor movements.
- Use visuals or toys to increase understanding. Using visuals can increase context and understanding of vocabulary. If you are singing, wheels on the bus grab a toy bus!
- Singing is a mood booster! Singing can change the mood and can turn a bad day around.
- Singing can increase verbal expression! Singing encourages your child to join in and make sounds.
- Singing encourages joint attention. Making eye contact and paying attention to the same thing at the same time is a precursor to language.
- Singing offers opportunities for turn taking. First, it is your turn and then, it is my turn.
- Minimize pressure while singing Anxiety and stress can have a negative impact. Try to make singing fun! Using puppets during song can be a fun idea.
- Use a song to signify a change in routine and make it easier. This strategy involves creating a script for familiar activity to encourage your child to repeat a given set of phrases. An example of this is the clean-up song. Begin activities with a familiar phrase or song can encourage a child to repeat a given set of phrases.
- Imitate your child while singing and engage in vocal play. Imitation may serve as a model for eliciting imitation itself.