In today’s work of smartphones, on-demand television, and electronic distractions, kids’ sing-along songs sometimes feel like part of a different era. They don’t have to be though. Kids of all ages still love to sing, whether they’re belting out a tune at a karaoke party or singing around a family campfire.
The Benefits of Singing
Singing teaches children many of the skills they’ll need in school. When you sing, you need to consider patterns and rhythm. You exercise your memory to remember the words and express emotion to give the song more meaning. If you’re singing in a group, you have to modulate your speed and volume to match those around you. All of these acts stimulate the brain and encourage healthy mental development.
Singing has been known to lower stress, and may even improve general health by improving respiratory airflow. Kids’ sing-along songs also encourage kids to dance, helping develop strength and gross motor skills.
What to Sing?
Honestly, you can sing anything you want with kids, as long as a) they enjoy it and b) the lyrics won’t result in a phone call from the school’s principal. The best songs to start singing with kids have simple lyrics and a simple rhythm. You know the ones: Itsy Bitsy Spider, I’m a Little Teapot, and Ring around the Roses have all been sung for years—and have the added advantage of coming with little dances included.
As kids get more confident with singing, you can move to more complicated songs like This Old Man, the Hokey Pokey, and Old MacDonald’s farm. Add in some counting songs like 10 Bottles of Beer on the Wall or One Little, Two Little, Three Little Fingers to help children learn their numbers.
Getting Kids to Sing
If your little one isn’t sure about singing, give some personalized kids sing-along songs a try—there’s no reason why Old MacDonald Had a Farm can’t be sung as Happy Diana Had a Farm. Kids love hearing their names in songs and are often more willing to sing if they know the song is about them.