Singing songs with your child is a fun and interactive way for them to learn new skills.
What skills can singing with my child help develop?
- Vocabulary. Singing songs increases your child's exposure to certain words due to the often repetitive nature of the song, helping your child acquire new vocabulary or concepts (e.g. counting).
Turn taking. Songs can also provide opportunities for turn taking by allowing your child to fill in key words (often the ones that are emphasised or repeated a lot).
Imitation. By using actions with songs, your child will learn to copy/imitate your movements.
Memory. By singing the same songs, auditory memory (hearing information, processing it, retaining it, and then recalling it) can be developed.
What can I do while singing with my child?
- Sing the songs slowly - provide your child with time to hear and process the words you are singing.
Use actions - some children learn skills better and can retain more information when paired with movement.
Stop singing to let your child fill in the key word - once you have sung a song multiple times and your child is joining in through actions or words, stop singing and let your child fill in the gap.
Be dynamic! Change the way you sing by using a different voice, or changing your volume throughout.
What songs should I sing?
Songs that are simple and have lots of repetition!
This can include well-known rhymes such as Insy Winsy Spider, or can be made up to fit what you and your child are doing at the time. My parents used to make up songs for every activity. I can still remember the bedtime, wake up, and clean up songs to this day!
Some of our favourite songs at Acorn Autism:
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
If You’re Happy and You Know It
Five Little Ducks
Five Little Monkeys
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Five Little Speckled Frogs
Open Shut Them
Note: To learn new songs (and their actions), we recommend looking at The Wiggles on YouTube
For more information on how you can support your child's communication development at home, or to hear more about how a Speech Language Therapist can support you, contact Acorn Autism.
Note: The above information is not meant to diagnose or treat, and should not take the place of personal consultation, as appropriate, with a qualified professional.