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Wolverhampton Information Network

A Guide to Singing

Singing to and with your child is a good way of supporting their overall development. Children prefer to hear the voices of their parents than recorded voices, so don’t worry you if think your voices is awful, your child will enjoy it.

If you don’t know many children’s songs, start by singing along to a CD or music download, as you become more familiar with the song and tune, reduce the voulme of the recording.

The types of songs you sing depend on the age of your child:


These songs are traditionally used to soothe babies, and with an accompanying rocking action, they make a child feel safe and secure. As you sing try to maintain eye contact with your child. This activity supports your child development by:

Co-ordination and Balance – the gentle rocking motion will help develop a sense of balance

Emotional Development – the rhythm of the song and the eye contact with help strengthen the bond between you

Language Development – helps to focus a child’s attention and makes your child aware of the rhythm and sounds of words, so supports early communication

Action Songs

From twelve months of age actions can be introduced. Action songs are a great way of teaching your child new words. Your child may watch you to start with but in time they will start to join in, soon they will anticipate the action with some excitement. Try Humpty, Dumpty or Row, Row, Row your Boat or Pat a Cake. This activity supports your child’s development by:

Co-ordination – allows your child to practice eye to hand co-ordination and makes them aware of the body

Language Development – links actions to words, helping to teach your child the meaning of some words

Social Development – making movements with your child helps them to connect with others

Songs for Request

From the age of two, children can be reluctant to follow your instructions. Changing your instructions into a song can help calm the frustration felt by your child and yourself, and makes the activity fun. This activity supports your child’s development by:

Thinking Skills – following instructions helps children to process information and use their memory

Listening Skills – this will help to focus your child’s listening, enabling them to complete the instructions

Emotional Development – singing can be a future strategy to cope with uncomfortable situations or in activities that they may not be interested in

Counting Songs

From three, songs based on numbers help your child to learn words associated with mathematics. Many counting songs involve subtraction, so will also help your child to count backwards. To support with this, use fingers and toes. Learning to count takes time so don’t worry if your child makes lots of mistakes. This activity supports your child’s development by:

Counting – your child with learn the names and order of numbers

Language Development – this will help your child to understand the meaning of new words

Confidence – feel confident to join in with songs and actions helps to build your child’s self-esteem

Songs and Dance

From four years of age, children become more confident and are able to co-ordinate their body to the sound of song or music, songs such as The Hokey Cokey or Ring a Ring o’ Roses are ideal for embedding these movement skills, and can be enjoyed indoors on wet days. This activity supports your child’s development by:

Co-ordination – helps your child to be aware of their body and how it can move

Social skills – singing and dancing within a small group helps your child to become more cooperative with their peers

Physical skills – singing and dancing keep your child active and healthy

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