Using your imagination is a great way to build play skills! One activity that requires little to no supplies is music and singing. Music teaches children new vocabulary, modeling of phrases, sentence structure and it also exposes them to rhyming and alliteration – which are pre-skills to literacy. The repetition in songs increase learning! Music and singing stimulate multiple areas of the brain, which is great for language building as your child develops.
Be sure to include movement or gestures within the songs. This is easily put together into your everyday routine. For example, if your going to the kitchen to get a snack, you can both hop to the fridge while plugging your actions into the tune of a song that already exists. For example, “Hi ho hi ho, it’s off to the fridge we go…..”
- Examples to include movement into songs include:
- Row Row Row Your Boat
- Sit across from your child and join hands, then rock back and forth as you sing the song.
- Itsy Bitsy Spider
- Make a pretend spider with your hands crawling up a drain pipe, the rain falling down or the sun shining as you sing along.
- Old MacDonald Had a Farm
- Be sure to encourage imitation of animal noises.
- The Wheels on the Bus
- Add gestures such as hand movements going up/down, opening and closing the palms of your hands and moving your hands left/right to imitate windshield wipers.
Use shorter songs with familiar words. Emphasize the important words. For example “Twinkle, twinkle, little….STAR”.
Always try to encourage turn taking when singing! It’s helpful for children to learn that they need to take turns while communicating, as well as when they are playing with toys. Once your child has heard a song and learned the words, pause at a familiar part so they are prompted to finish a line of the song or rhyme!