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Today we are thrilled to be featuring a guest post by one of our newest members of our community, Andrea from De Wild, De Crazy, Despains! Andrea is mother of one beautiful little boy and expecting another one!!! Congratulations Andrea and Jordan! A busy mother and nanny she said in her email that she doesn't have a preschool or education blog, but don't be fooled☺ She chronicles many learning experiences she provides for the children in her care. We're so happy she emailed us to share this great activity, and she's so nice she even shared materials so you can recreate it at home too.
If you use this activity, please go over to Andrea's and give her some comment love for sharing!
Singing Time Game
I don’t know about you, but when I became a new mother I realized my repertoire of nursery/children’s songs was sorely limited to approximately 5 songs that I sang over and over again. As my son got older I learned more songs, but when we would sing together, without a list or something to reference, I could still only recall the same 5 songs.
At Christmas a friend of mine gave me this singing game for toddlers/pre-school aged children that my son and the children I nanny (ages 2 ½ and 4 ½) absolutely love.
It is extremely simple, but so effective. She gave me a bunch of laminated pictures that represented children’s songs. It is wonderful because although we never get through all 15-20 songs (and we never try- don’t want to wear out the novelty), it varies the songs we do sing in a fun way. I have the children take turns (if I’m working, otherwise my son just enjoys having it be perpetually his turn) picking a picture that will determine the next song we sing. They love to do this.
As a mother, I love not having to always try and think of a new song for the kids. As an educator I love this game because:
The pictures help to build the children’s schema about words that would otherwise be abstract. For example, William has loved singing The Wheels on the Bus since around the time he turned one- but did he even know what a bus was? No. Now he at least has an image to go with the words and will be the beginning of his developing schema for the word “bus”.
Singing songs with children helps them learn to rhyme. Rhyming is a very important pre-reading skill as it leads to understanding word families later on.
If I have some of the songs on a CD, sometimes instead of us just singing it by ourselves, we will sing it with the CD. One of my very favorite children’s CDs is called Songs for Wiggleworms. We check it out from the library all the time. I need to just buckle down and buy it! It has many of the classic nursery and children’s songs and often with a fun twist that just intuitively leads to doing actions and finger plays.
Holiday songs. Since my friend gave it to me in December, it included picture cards for Christmas songs (which we now no longer include in the mix). You could add your own pictures for songs you know about different holidays.
There were also some picture cards for primary songs included. I keep the fun ones (like Do as I’m doing, Popcorn Popping, etc) in at all times. Others (like I am a Child of God, I’m trying to be like Jesus, etc) I only put in occasionally because usually we do singing time to burn off some steam
Ours is simply in a Ziploc bag. You could upgrade it to a container to keep them from peeking and picking out only their very favorite songs. I hope to get around to doing this eventually.
We love it Andrea, and agree that picture cues are a great way to increase vocabulary development!
Andrea has shared a list of the songs she uses for this activity and the corresponding pictures, click here to download the pictures via Google Doc.
5 Little Monkeys
Bringing home a Baby Bumblebee
Going on a Bear Hunt
I Saw a Little Bird go Hop, Hop, Hop
I'm a Little Teapot
If All of the Raindrops
If You're Happy and You Know
Old McDonald had a Farm
Peanut Butter and Jelly Song
Row, Row, Row your Boat
She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain
The Ants go Marching
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
The Wheels on the Bus
Three Little Ducks
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
You are My Sunshine