Believe it or not, singing to your children works wonders on language development! It may not seem like singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star can be very effective, but there’s much more to music than just a catchy tune. Studies have shown that singing to your child can help them learn rhythm, movement, and speech. The repetitive language and rhythm in music also helps children memorize words while expressing feelings and emotions, all of which is great for developing language.
Music helps the body and mind work together to understand the meaning of words. Whether it be lullabies or play songs, musical sounds can help children develop body awareness. Evidence even shows similarities between linguistic and musical perception in infants, showing just how closely linked the two are. Repetitive language in songs builds understanding of sentence structure, language and prediction.
So what does all of this mean? Incorporating music into your daily routine is not only fun, but also effective in developing language! You can also make songs interactive by having your child finish the sentence or sing along with you.
A few of our favorite repetitive songs with gestures include:
- Baby Shark
- Wheels on the Bus
- 5 Little Monkeys
- Row Row Row Your Boat
- Head Shoulders Knees and Toes
- The Itsy Bitsy Spider
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
- If You’re Happy and You Know It
Politimou, Nina, et al. “Born to speak and sing: Musical predictors of language development in pre-schoolers.” Frontiers in Psychology 10 (2019): 948.