By Esther Jantzen, guest poster
Singing songs with kids is magical! Making music in any way stimulates the brain, brings happiness, and creates a sense of belonging. How about making your house a singing house regardless of how well any of you stay on pitch. Babies, toddlers, preschool children, elementary students, middle-school kids, high-schoolers all love to sing together. When you have time with your kids and want to do something fun, make music in your home. Whenever you get a chance, sing! Here ís what you can do:
1) Almost everyone in our culture knows certain songs like Old MacDonald,Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and I’m a Little Teapot. Sing these and other common tunes to your kids. If you don’t know them, get a recording and play it for your children.
2) Make up your own songs to familiar tunes. Choose words that fit your family’s interests like, Dribble, dribble, dribble your ball… or Mom and Dad, they had a house, e-i-e-i-o….
3) Sing when you’re driving somewhere. Sing when you’re out on a walk. Sing every day. Singing conveys love. It touches us deeply.
4) Do you remember songs you learned as a child? Songs you learned at school, in your place of worship, or from radio or TV ads. Do you know lullabies? Have you passed them on to your children? It makes a great family tradition to pass songs on. Do you love opera or gospel or blues? Sing with your kids.
5) Moving with music activates parts of the brain that might not get exercise another way. Play a lively song and dance free-form . March to your own music. Strut to your own songs.
6) Have your kids teach you songs they’ve learned. If they have a favorite song and don’t know the words, look them up on the internet or in a song book.
Write the words down and carry them with you until the kids know them. * Family Music Month supports the English-Language Arts Content Standards related to listening and speaking strategies.
Esther Jantzen, Ed.D, is a mother, an educator and the author of Plus It! How to Easily Turn Everyday Activities into Learning Adventures for Kids available at www.plusitbook.com and the Way to Go! Family Learning Journal available through www.jantzenbooks.com