Updated: Feb 23
As lockdown continues its getting harder and harder to come up with ideas to keep your little one’s entertained on a daily basis, however I am here to help! Doing a daily song and rhyme time session with your little ones is a wonderful way to strengthen the bond with your child, as well as helping them to learn how to talk and acquire more language. It's a great home learning activity to due during lockdown.
In my role as a children's photographer I am regularly singing songs and nursery rhymes, using puppets, making strange sounds, pulling funny faces and even using instruments to help get those beautiful smiles out of the children I photograph. In my Norfolk studio I have a drawer in my trolley which has a range of props I use to entertain the children with songs and rhymes during my photoshoots. Trust me when I say it works!
Sharing songs and rhymes is a fun and interactive activity to do as part of your home learning, but at the same time it has lots of valuable learning opportunities as it helps grow your child’s vocabulary, language understanding and listening skills, all this enhances the readiness of your child for nursery or school.
Don’t worry if your not very confident or don’t have the best singing voice (neither do I!), to your child you will sound amazing and they will be captivated by your voice. If you forget a word or two just make it up, the most important thing is the quality time you are spending with your child.
Top tips for sharing songs and rhymes at home with your child
· Use actions / gestures to reinforce the words being sung and encourage your child to join in with you e.g. get up and march around the room when singing The Grand Old Duke of York
· Give your child eye contact when singing to them as this will encourage them to copy you
· Incorporate songs and rhymes into different routines of the day e.g. nappy time/toilet time, meal times, bath time e.g. “this is the way we wash our hands all day long”
· Turn off any background noise when doing a song time session (tv/radio)
· You could use an instrument and ask your child to copy the pattern you are making on the drum or the number of shakes you do on the tambourine, this helps them to develop awareness of rhythm
· To make the activity more interactive use a Song Bag (details below)
· Give your child an instrument to use to accompany the song and encourage them to use it at certain points in the song this will also support their listening and concentration skills
Making a Song Bag
A great way to get your child more interested in a song and rhyme session is to create a song bag. You will fill your song bag with items connected to certain songs and then get your child/children to take turns at choosing something out of the bag, which will determine which song you will sing next.
The good news with this is that you are likely to have most of the things already at home to make your own song bag. Items to include in your song bag could be soft toys or plastic toys to represent different songs e.g. a toy sheep for Baa Baa Black Sheep, or you could print out different images and laminate them to identify specific songs e.g. a cotton reel for Wind the Bobbin Up.
Here are some of my favourite Nursery Rhymes & Songs
· Wind the Bobbin Up
· The Wheels on the Bus
· Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
· Old Mac Donald had a farm
· A Hedgehog is very prickly
· Row Row Row your boat
· Let's all sing a song together
· 5 Little Men in a Flying Saucer
I have created a Song and Rhyme Book of 8 of my favourite songs, which you can download in PDF format at the end of the song sheets.
Gemerations Photography Song Book
Download PDF • 1.17MB