Aim of the game:
Music and nursery rhymes are a natural part of children’s lives and such a fantastic way of teaching language. The rhyme, rhythm and repetition all help songs and nursery rhymes great for language learning and any actions or movement that you add in help to make it a multi sensory experience. Some parents are reluctant to sing songs with their children because they fear they may not sound good but we can honestly say, as far as your child is concerned your voice is the best sound!
What you will need:
A willing singing voice!
How to play:
- Sit opposite your child so you are face to face.
- Introduce the activity by saying “let’s sing some songs”
- Start off with favourite or familiar nursery rhymes such as ‘twinkle twinkle little star’, ‘the wheels on the bus’ or ‘Old MacDonald’.
- Sing together at a steady pace and allow pauses in the song for your child to join in (e.g. “twinkle, twinkle, little…..[pause]”) – look expectantly at your child and allow them the opportunity to add in the word.
NB: If they don’t add in the word, that’s ok. Over time they may build up their confidence and have a go.
- Now it’s time to get silly – once you’ve re-familiarised your toddler with the song sing it again but this time change up some words to see if they notice (e.g. “twinkle, twinkle chocolate bar….”). Pause and see if your child reacts!
Listen and watch CBeebies nursery rhymes with Makaton signs here
How to extend:
- Introduce song choices with your child so they get to pick the song. You can do this with a verbal choice (e.g. “baa baa or twinkle twinkle?”) but it’s much more fun to have a choosing board or song bag. We have a selection of song choice boards available to download in our Therapy Centre.
- Sing different colour sheep for ‘baa baa black sheep’ and allow your child to choose the colour.
- Sing Old MacDonald but sing zoo animals instead of farm animals and see how your child reacts (e.g. “Old MacDonal had a…..snake!”)
- Replace words with similar sounding words or phrases and watch your child’s reaction. For example, sing ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’ and on the last part of the song replace with “head, shoulders, cheese on toast”!