Not only does March bring more sunshine, growth, and a feeling of newness, it’s also Sing with your Child Month!
The benefits of music on a child’s language, social-emotional, and cognitive development are well researched. Many experts even recommend singing and playing music for your baby while he or she is still in the womb!
Because many parents understand the importance of incorporating both music and literacy into their child’s life from an early age, let’s talk about some activities that expose your child to both of these!
1. Create and write lyrics for a new song.
Help your child think about an experience or topic he or she is passionate about, then help them create words to a song about it! Since many songs involve rhyming words, this can be a great way to improve your child’s phonological awareness skills. Depending on your child’s age, he or she can either write the words themselves or you can give some help.
2. Look at songbooks with your child.
Help your child form a connection between music and literacy by looking at songbooks together. As you listen to a song, point out the music notes and written words in the book to show your child the value and importance of print! For younger children, you might do this with some familiar nursery rhymes such as The Itsy Bitsy Spider or The Wheels on the Bus.
3. Listen to songs to teach your child about figurative language.
Listening and writing down lines from songs can help school-aged children understanding the meaning of figurative language. Ask your child to listen to a certain song and write down specific lines. Help him or her read over some of those lyrics, and interpret what they really mean.
For example, the lyrics from the popular song from the Disney movie Frozen, Let It Go, is filled with figurative language. Explain to your child how words like, “the wind is howling like a swirling storm inside…” is a way of comparing the sound of wind to a howling wolf.
4. Read board books in a sing-song way.
Research shows that a child’s language skills are boosted when their parents speak to them with a “sing-song” intonation known as parentese. Incorporate a fun, higher pitched, exaggerated style of speaking while reading board books to your baby or toddler, just like you would while singing to him or her!
Happy reading (and singing)!
Amy Yacoub, MS, CCC-SLP | Speech Pathologist
Proud Member of The Story Box Family