Jan 10, 2012

How Does That Children's Song Go?

It use to be that when we couldn't remember the tune or lyrics of a children's song, we were left asking our friends and family members for help. Nowadays we google it!  Not only are the channels/websites great for childcare providers, young children can enjoy it as well. Here are some of the sites I have found. Feel free to add to the list!


Bus Songs


The Teacher's Guide


Children Love To Sing

The Advantages of Singing for the Early Childhood Educator

Children enjoy singing songs with their teachers. Music is an important part of a child's development. But, singing is also an effective tool for educators in an early childhood setting, such as a preschool or daycare, to guide children, create structure and teach!

Using Singing for Guidance

When a teacher changes her tone in speaking it will often grab a child's attention. If she lowers her voice and speaks clearly in short sentences with an authoritative voice, it helps the child understand the importance of her message. On a similar and lighter note, singing can grab the attention of a child or an entire group of children and will help guide towards more appropriate behaviour.

A teacher does not necessarily have to know a song with specific lyrics to use in a guidance situation, but rather she can just sing her words. Often using one or two common tunes will be helpful at the beginning and then it will become more natural of a process and any song can be used. So, for instance if a group of children are running around in a circle inside, a teacher could start singing to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star: Walking walking when inside, put those running feet away. Another example for using singing for guidance is when walking in a group, such as for a fire drill or a field trip, is this song sung to the tune of She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain:

Oh, our quiet train is leaving here we go, sshh, sshh

Oh, our quiet train is leaving, here we go, sshh, sshh

Oh our quiet train is leaving, our quiet train is leaving,

Our quiet train is leaving, here we go, sshh sshh.

Using Singing to Create Structure

In early childhood settings, singing is commonly used to help children learn the routine of their day. Songs are used for cleaning up, transitions, gathering for circle and much more. To illustrate, here are some favourite clean up songs:

  1. Time to put the toys away, toys away, toys away, time to put the toys away, so we can have our snack (this can be changed to suit a program).
  2. Now we've had our time to play, it's time to put the toys away.
  3. Clean up, clean up everybody, everywhere, Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share.
  4. I see Sally picking up toys, I see Johnny putting them away.
There are many songs that can be used for circle time and transitions as well. Find some songs that can be remembered and use on a daily basis. The children will then learn the songs, and be cued for transitions in the curriculum.

Singing is a Teaching Tool

Singing can be used for teaching, of course. Children love to hear songs, and learn them as well. Some songs are more educational then others and when used in connection to a theme being used in all areas of a curriculum, the song will contribute to the learning process of a child.

Educators can find songs at circle time that will correlate to a preschool lesson plan. Sometimes a song cannot be found in available sources and so making one up can always do the trick. For instance, let's say a preschool teacher is teaching the children about dinosaurs and there are no preschool songs that are quite right. She decides to make up her own song using the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star:

We are dinosaurs from long ago, you could find us high and low.

In the grass and on the land, in the sea and on the sand

We are dinosaurs from long ago, you could find us high and low.

As the children continue along the learning lesson of dinosaurs she puts in more lyrics. They do not have to rhyme, but repetition and simplicity work well with young children.

One tactic to use for making up songs is to find a tune and the first two lyrics to start the process each time, then the rest will often fall into place. For instance, "I am a ____ look at me, I'm as happy as a I can be..."

Young children love singing and music, and a classroom that is filled with singing with age appropriate lyrics, helps create a fun and appealing space for preschoolers to learn.

This article, written by Christine Moore, was originally published by suite101.com

Jan 9, 2012

Fun Car Ride Games with Music

Traveling in cars, or other forms of transportation, can be challenging with young children (and big children too) as they can get restless and unhappy leading to discomfort for everyone. Before long, one of the siblings is poking the other and the havoc begins. There are many ways, today, to entertain children with electronic gadgets on long car rides, but sometimes kids still need to be entertained in a way that allows them to be actively involved and receiving social contact. This article suggests some fun games to play with children that surround music and children's songs.

The Song Game

This game can be very challenging, and involves the memory of song lyrics.
The first person will sing a song and then stop at a word and then the next person must think of a song with that word in it. For instance, one person might sing a Justin Bieber popular song and end with the word, "baby" and the next person might sing, "Rock my baby on the tree..." Ending with word, tree the next person playing this song game will have to find a song with tree in it. This game can be played until no one can think of a song with the word or this song game can simply be played collectively.

ABC's and Children's Songs

This game can be a collective song or played individually. Moreover, the parents might sing songs for their restless toddlers. Use the alphabet and with each letter find a word that starts with that letter and then a correlating song. Finding the word is a great activity for young children learning phonics and the sounds of letters. To illustrate this game: A is for apple and the song could be I like to eat apples and bananas.

Name That Tune

A classic television show can be played while traveling the long distance in a car with each person, or just the parents, giving clue notes about the song they have chosen. The players try and see if they can think of what song is being hummed or whistled. If older children are playing this game, they can try and guess how many notes they are going to guess the song in. Start with one note, then another and so on until the song is guessed.

Make a CD of Songs for a Guessing Game

This suggestion takes some preparation but might end up passing the time effectively in the car ride. A version of name that tune is to copy the beginning of songs onto a CD for the players to guess. Another suggestion is to make a full CD of songs, or portions of songs, and the players have to guess an aspect of that song. Following are some ideas or variations for the guessing game:

  • Movie Soundtracks: guess what movie the song can be found
  • Who is Singing?: guess the artist
  • Now or Then? : find songs from the past and present, and the players have to guess
  • World Music: guess what part of the world the song is from
  • What Decade? players have to decide which decade the song comes from
This activity could be prepared by different members of the family before leaving home.

Long car rides can be trying, but with some creativity and music, hopefully your next trip might go by a little faster with these fun game suggestions.

This article, written by Christine Moore, was originally published by suite101.com