5 Great Singable Stories to Engage Your Child
Written by: Morgan May Sparks, MT-BC Owner & Director, Rhythm Garden Music LLC
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I love singable stories. As a music therapist, early childhood music educator, and toddler mom, I value books that are fun, engaging, and diverse. I look for books that I know the kids are going to love and I’m not going to get tired of reading. I look for books with songs that are catchy and easy for my son and me to sing together even when I don’t have the book in my hand. Most importantly, I look for books that provide teachable moments. Here are five of my favorite singable stories that do just that.
This was my first singable story from Barefoot Books. I fell in love with this book because it not only had a really catchy tune, but it also featured diverse characters. As a music therapist, I work mostly with individuals with disabilities, so it was very heartwarming to see a young lady in a wheelchair featured prominently in the story.
Use this as a “sing and move” book- children can get their wiggles out and still meaningfully engage in the story by doing the dance moves on each page. Help your child identify the animals. Talk about where the animal might live. Using this story in a group setting? Turn it into a circle dance!
I live in the middle of farm country, so anything farm-related is a big hit with my families. I will often sing this song in the car as I take my son to daycare and let him fill in the animal and the last line- “It’s a very busy day!”
Help your child find and identify the animals (and their colors) on each page. Do some vocal play with the animal sounds. Ask your child what other songs they know about farm animals. Change the words to match your day- What are you driving? What makes it a “very busy day” for your family?
My son is a huge dinosaur fan, so this book has been a big hit in my home since it released last fall. What’s really cool about this book is that it really is a ‘rap’, so it makes for a totally different experience than what children typically get from a singable story.
Help your child practice saying the names of the dinosaurs. Talk about similarities and differences between the dinosaurs. Dance like the dinosaurs. Don’t be afraid to be a little silly- why not add some beatboxing to the rap?
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This one is based on the nursery rhyme of the same name. I’ve noticed that fewer children seem to be learning nursery rhymes, so I always include as many as I can in my classes.
Craft time- create some animal finger puppets to use with the story. Help your child identify the animals and their sounds. Talk about where each animal might call home.
This is a cute take on the campfire song with the same title that introduces children to the marine food chain.
Talk about ocean life and the marine food chain. Help your child identify each animal. Learning time- can you and your child remember the order of the animals without the book? Add props for hands-on learning.
The final pages of each book include additional pictures and information about the book’s topic to take learning and discussion a step further. Notated music and lyrics are also included on the last page. Each book comes with an enhanced CD.
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