Singing is a great activity for children, and preschool songs are usually silly, encourage movement and are easy for children to remember. Children enjoy music and unlike adults have no inhibitions when singing aloud.
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Some preschool songs were written with movement in mind. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes is a song that includes movement with the identification of parts of the body. The song Wheels on the Bus is another one that involves movement and music. Changing the words to these songs allows parents and teachers to cover different topics and alter movement. Some songs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with different words can be used to teach many things, such as ballet terms, with the accompanying positions, to help young children to learn a new skill. Songs that involve movement help preschooler learn motor control and balance, and help preschoolers release pent up energy.
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Using short poems set to melodies many children already know is a way to teach many skills using preschool songs. The nursery rhyme, One Potato sung to the melody of Twinkle Twinkle can help children learn to count. Turning it into a movement game by having a child stand up when a number is sung, and then sing the song in reverse, having the child sit back down is a way to involve math and motion skills. Finger plays with music is a way to include song, counting skills, fun and less movement. Preschoolers may not remember the words to a specific song like Row Row Row Your Boat but they remember the melody. Finding counting poems or math phrases and using those as the lyrics to a familiar song encourages children to participate.
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Foreign Language and Culture:
The world is a global place these days. Children see people who are from all parts of the world. Using familiar melodies to introduce a different language or culture is easy. The song Frere Jacques is a catchy tune that can be sung in French and then in English. Spanish songs for children can be found and downloaded free from the internet. Other cultures have preschool songs available as well. Imagine how much fun a child can have singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider in Cherokee during the Thanksgiving week celebration. Children who learn to speak a second language at an early age are capable of learning more languages later, when foreign language studies are a requirement for most high school graduates who plan to enter college.
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There are many benefits to teaching songs to young children. By memorizing songs, a child’s ability to retain more information is increased. Balance and coordination are two more benefits that have a life long affect. Young muscles and bones need to learn to work together, and singing a funny song while making specific motions accomplishes this task. Body control, information retention and improved concentration are well worth singing a silly song.
Preschool songs can teach, entertain and help children gain control and balance. Having fun making up words to familiar songs will be an enjoyable pastime for all family members.
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