Music has always been an integral part of our day…along with reading and art I think music is something else that the boys and I come together around. We listen to a mix of music…kiddie stuff, marathi songs, classical music – usually hindustani vocal, bhajans, old hindi songs and a lot of beatles, carpenters, etc.
Anyway, one thing about music is how easily it engages kids and gets them listening, moving, participating. Nish cannot stop himself from moving to the beat, Sid loves to accompany on any noise-making device available and Amu tries so hard to sing along. And this is not just the case with my boys but with most kids (and adults!).
It’s great to tap into this and engage kids in music. A lot of songs for kids help children participate in different ways in the songs and music can be used to count, to give rhythm, to learn parts of the body, to dance, to learn and practice vocabulary in a fun and meaningful way.
Last week my cousin (thanks jnt) gave us a lovely collection of songs and the kids already have two hot favorites. I am starting with those two and sharing a few more that my kids love …am sure yours will too.
1. One little finger – This is a very catchy tune …basically goes through parts of the body from the head to the feet but the manner in which it is done is fun and interactive. Had all three boys singing this with me and doing all the actions. This is great for 1 kid or for a classroom of 2-3 yr olds!
2. When I build my house (Album – Circle of friends). This is a song about someone building a house (and its nice that it is a lady who is doing the building!). The song lists the different things the person does while building her house…saw the wood, hammer the nails…etc.. Again – great beat and easy actions. The actions are done to the rhythm of the song. This is something you can do using just your hands or you can alternately use two sticks or spoons so that the rhythm sounds better. Great for 2-4 year olds!
3. Pass the Beanbag (Tumble Tots, Action Songs Vol 2): This song is literally about passing the bean bag…so ideally it would be more fun to have 2-3 kids sit in a circle for this. You will need a small bean bag or soft toy that gets passed around as the music plays…but watch out…it changes pace and goes faster and slower so you have to listen carefully to the beat of the song! Great for teaching rhythm as a concept
4. We’re going on a Bear Hunt: An all time favorite with the boys, I have to credit my other cousin Binks for introducing them to it. If you have not heard the song, look for it on youtube. It is based on a book by the same title. Very engaging and interactive and along with the beat it helps the kids learn new vocabulary, get into the mood of the song and generally act out a fairly detailed plot!!! While my 2 and 31/2 yr olds love it, so do I…so I guess older kids would enjoy it too!
5. Shake my sillies out: Great song to get everyone moving! A super song to do post lunch or on a lazy day with kids in the classroom…I completely enjoy going through the actions with the kids and my boys are great sports and play along beautifully. This morning in fact Nish stretched and said he was “yawning his sleepies away”!
6. Open Shut them: Amu’s hot favorite…this is often the perfect way to get him to calm down when he is hyper or worked up. A simple action song it helps the child focus on the hands and watch as the hands do different easy to follow and copy things!
7. Looby Loo (Wee Sing collection) : A variant of the Hokey Pokey with a catchier beat..for some reason my boys like it better than Hokey Pokey
8: Clap Clap Clap: This is a rhythm song…getting kids to clap to the beat of the music. The beat keeps changing and kids have to listen and follow the beat. It starts simple and gets more complex. This is good for 3 yrs and older.
9: Wheels one bus
10. 5 little ducks went out one day: We do this one with actions and also with felt board
11. 5 Little Monkeys swinging from the tree
12: I am bringing home a baby bumblebee: Ok so my little fellas LOVE this one…especially as we go through all the gross stuff…bringing home the bee, squishing the bee, licking the bee, having a tummy ache and throwing up.
These are just a few…have only put down the ones that my boys really like. But you can look for more online! I rarely sweat about whether they sound perfectly in tune, etc…It is more about the process… stuff like this gives them a chance to explore the world of music, interact with it, be a part of it and have a blast!