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Using Activity Songs with Young Children
Do you have young children or work with toddlers or preschoolers and are looking for some fun, interactive songs? Nowadays, there is a multitude of activity songs that you can sing and dance to in order to help children improve all kinds of development skills.
While there are hundreds of interactive children's songs, sometimes the classics are still the best. Old time favorites include Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, and If You're Happy and You Know It. Other popular favorites include songs like 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed and Old Macdonald Had a Farm because those have round verses that promote memory skills and imagination.
How Teachers and Parents Use Activity Songs
Early Child Development teachers that work with toddlers and preschoolers often use a variety of activity songs during circle time. If you're focusing on academics during circle time, you might try singing and doing activities with 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, because it teaches young children how to subtract from five by holding up the appropriate numbers of fingers. Activity songs like Old MacDonald Had a Farm also work well cause it teaches toddlers the words to the song and their animals, and preschoolers can even branch out and chime in with animals from a zoo or an aquarium for fun.
In addition, activity songs are also ideal for music and movement time, as they allow young children to get their energy out and learn how to listen and follow directions. Songs like the Hokey Pokey and If You're Happy and You know It allow them to show their emotions, sing, and dance.
How Activity Songs Benefit Children
Head Start states that music encourages children to notice their feelings and act them out while singing and dancing. It also teaches them to follow directions and imitate different movements, such as clapping their hands, stomping their feet, or acting like different animals. These all enhance their sensory, cognitive, and physical development.