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This blog is here for you to find fun learning activities to do with your children. We share great ideas we find and love on the Internet, as well as ideas we come up with on our own! We also like to share resources we find helpful.

To find ideas for your child, click on the age range blog label or on the theme/topic you are looking for (on the left side of the page). In each post, we try to list optimal age ranges for the activity, but you must judge for yourself if it is appropriate for your child. When you try an activity out, please comment and let us (and everyone else) know how your child liked it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Singing Songs

We have had a lot of requests for ideas for activities with babies, so I thought I would start with a simple one: Singing Songs.

AGE RANGEAll ages. Really. All kids of all ages love to sing and do movements to songs. I still love it :)

SUPPLIES
  • Adult
  • Child
WHEN TO DO IT

All the time, any time. I sing to my kids all the time. We sing while we are driving, we sing while we are playing, and I sing while I am feeding them. I love to sing to my babies while they are eating their food. They are typically quite interested in it and don't try to stick their hands in their mouths or anything.

With my oldest, I found singing songs with actions particularly helpful during the evening. He was a typical baby in that he got fussier in the evening, and my husband was in school and working at the time. He was gone before we got up and got home shortly before Brayden went to bed. I needed all the tricks I could muster up for the day!

SONG IDEA: Wheels on the Bus

There are so many possibilities out there. My favorite (because it is my kids favorite) for a young baby is Wheels on the Bus.

Wheels on the Bus

This was Brayden's favorite. Brayden was my only baby to get fussier in the evenings (McKenna had a witching hour...but I am just talking fussy :) )--probably since he only took 45 minute naps until he was 6 months old. He also hated driving in the car. The Wheels on the Bus saved us every evening and every car ride.

For a baby, lay baby on the floor or another surface you feel comfortable with. For a toddler, have your child face you. Your child might need help doing actions. For the preschooler, have your child face you and mimic your movements.

Verse One: bicycle baby's legs round and round. For toddlers and older, make a big circle with your arm like a wheel

The wheels on the bus go round and round
round and round,
round and round,
The wheels on the bus go round and round
All through the town

Verse Two: Take baby by the hand and have her swish her arms back and forth. You might need to do the same for your young toddler. For the older toddler on up, swish your arms like windshield wipers and have your child mimic.

The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish
Swish, swish, swish,
Swish, swish, swish,
The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish
All through the town

Verse Three: You are already holding baby's hands. Gently pull baby up and down like baby is doing a sit-up if baby is old enough to do this. If not, just move baby's arms up and down. For the toddler and older, stand up and sit down.

The people on the bus go up and down
Up and down
Up and down
The people on the bus go up and down
All through the town

Verse Four: On each "beep," gently tap baby's nose. You can do the same to your toddler and older, or you can have your child beep her own nose while you beep your nose.

The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep
Beep, beep, beep,
Beep, beep, beep,
The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep
All through the town

Verse Five: For all age ranges, put your hands in front of your face with your elbows touching each other. Open and shut the doors when you say open and shut in a peek-a-boo fashion.

The doors on the bus go open and shut,
open and shut
open and shut
The doors on the bus go open and shut,
All through the town

Additional Verses: You can to so many different things with this song. I have sung this song enough times to have an endless supply up my sleeve:
  • Babies on the bus go wah, wah, wah (put finger on baby's chin and move mouth open on wah. For toddlers and older, make a wah-ing motion where you roll your hands in front of your eyes like you are crying)
  • Mommies on the bus go shh, shh, shh (shh your baby's mouth with your index finger or shh your own mouth for older children)
  • Driver on the bus says move on back (take baby's arms and move from one side to the other. For older children, move your arms in a "move back" motion).
  • Girls on the bus go giggle, giggle, giggle (tickle all ages. Be gentle tickling a baby and watch for signs baby doesn't like it. If not. Just pretend to tickle)
  • Boys on the bus say let's go play (hold baby's hands and move one arm up then the other, or bring them together in front of baby and then spread out in a Y form. For toddlers and older, jump up and down or spin around excitedly)
  • Road under the bus goes bump-ety bump (if baby is on a soft surface, you can bounce the bed. You can also put baby on your lap and move your legs up and down. You can also put a young toddler on your lap. For older toddlers and up, jump up and down)
This is just one example of how you can make a simple song into a fun, gross motor skills activity. You can add verses and make up your own actions. I just made these all up, so anything you can think of will be fun. Children are easy to please.

Children love singing and they love moving around. This is a great way to distract a fussy baby or to just have fun with a baby. I know it is simple, but baby does learn a lot from it. It moves baby's body, it exposes baby to music, and it gives baby fun time with the parent, which all babies love :)

2 comments:

Becca said...

My son has ALWAYS loved music. One of my favorite moments ever was when I came home one evening from a late meeting to find DH and Caleb singing "Moon River" together when Caleb was somewhere between 6 and 8 weeks. It was ADORABLE. "Moon River" quickly became his favorite song. It was the only song he would sing along with. :)

Kyle, Amanda, and Tobias said...

Oh yeah, songs with motions to them are a BIG favorite around here right now! At 14.5 months Tobias is now doing all the motions back too. My DH looked back at him in the car the other day and saw him doing the hand motions to Itsy Bitsy Spider and singing in his nonsense baby language, it was so cute!

And for those of us who have forgotten nursery songs or can't remember the motions, there is an excellent blog at http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/category/song-list
She has the lyrics as well as a videotape of herself singing each song so you can see any relevant hand motions.

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