Songs

What Makes Christmas Magical for Kids? Part Two: Songs

The Magic of Christmas Songs and Singing for Kids

Somehow as adults we overlook many of the simple ways that Christmas is magical for kids. One of these is singing songs and sharing music. Words and notes and voices weave a spell that will endure for decades and connect us to family, friends, and strangers around the world. Many of the songs we hear have been heard by people for hundreds of years and in many languages. Although we might groan at hearing popular songs again and again, these songs are still new for kids. They become associated with all the excitement of the holiday season.

importance of singing to kidsWhen we sing together we are sharing an experience and interacting on an emotional and social level. Kids need to listen attentively and match the notes, the words, and the timing. Singing with others creates a deep connection not just in families but songs can help us meet new people and turn strangers into friends.

One of the easier songs for kids to sing at Christmas time is Jingle Bells. The two words jingle bells are repeated and the Hey is fun to sing even a few extra times. Santa Claus and Rudolph are familiar to kids and they like to sing about them. Frosty the Snowman has lots of verses but kids enjoy dancing around to the thumpity thump thumps. We Wish You A Merry Christmas is short, repetitive, and rhythmic. Not only can kids sing along, but they can also shake bells and tap on a container for a drum. The video below of two children shows how delightful singing can be.

Parents are sometimes concerned that their voices are not good enough to sing but kids hear with their hearts as well as with their ears. Songs are more than words, they are also the sound of feelings. That’s some powerful magic and definitely something to sing about! What special songs are favorites for you and your child at Christmas?

What Makes Childhood Magical? Part 11: Singing

Sitting around a campfire and singing makes for magical moments and memories, but families can create that magic anytime. That includes lullabies, silly songs, songs to help when scared or sad, action songs, and more. Plus, songs can happen anywhere.

importance of singing to kidsJust in case you think songs are ordinary, here’s some proof. One is a video of a little girl who is scared of noisy fireworks so dad sings a song with her. It’s been seen almost 6 million times. The song, I’ll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, is a story and book that has sold 15 million copies. And the numbers are growing!

Do you remember any songs that parents or grandparents sang to you? Some songs are favorites in a family, some are favorites around the world. Songs help with all kinds of learning; it’s easier to remember letters when singing the alphabet song. There are particular songs associated with holidays and events. Countries have national anthems, both official and unofficial. Rock stars and folk singers become legends and each generation will identify with certain music.

When we sing together we are sharing an experience and interacting on an emotional and social level. Singing with others requires that we listen attentively and match voices. Songs can help us meet new people and turn strangers into friends.

Parents are sometimes concerned that their voices are not good enough to sing but kids hear with their hearts as well as with their ears. Together, you and your child can sing to get up in the morning, to get dressed, in the car or on the bus, in the bath, when playing and working together, and for help falling asleep. When your children are grown, they will sing some of those songs to their own children, who will sing to their children, connecting families across the generations. That’s some powerful magic and definitely something to sing about! What songs are favorites for you and your child?

Goodbye Winter, Hello Springtime Song For Fun & Learning

goodbye winter, hello springtime song for kidsThe weather here was so sunny and warm, it felt like time to sing. So we did, with a simple song that celebrates spring and warm weather. Did you know that singing is more than fun? It supports many aspects of early learning, kindergarten readiness, and life skills. But first here’s the song, to the old tune of Goodnight Ladies:

Goodbye winter, goodbye winter, goodbye winter, it’s time to go away.

We added lots more things to say goodbye to: goodbye mittens, goodbye winter boots, goodbye snow sled, goodbye wooly scarf, goodbye winter coat, goodbye snow shovel, goodbye ice skates, and more. We changed the words though for goodbye snowman:

Goodbye snowman, goodbye snowman, goodbye snow, we’re sad you’ve gone away.

That’s only half the fun. The other part of the song is singing hello.

Hello springtime, hello springtime, hello springtime, we’re so glad you’re here.

We sang more hellos: hello warm sun, hello new plants, hello green grass, hellos little birds, and here’s another spring color …

Hello cherry blossoms, hello cherry blossoms, hello cherry blossoms, you are nice and pink.

Singing stimulates connections in the brain and connections between people. When we sing together we are sharing an experience and interacting on an emotional and social level. In the brain, songs help with recognizing patterns, stretching memory, and practicing language. Ears and minds gets exercise in listening. The rhythm, the up and down, the notes and spaces, are similar enough to prewire pathways in the brain for math. Eyes got a chance to carefully watch for signs for spring.

All that in one song. This is a song that kids can sing practically anywhere, no matter what the weather is like where your family lives. This year seems to have had quite enough winter. Are you and your child happy to welcome spring?

Reindeer-Pokey and Other Christmas Songs for Kids

Christmas music is everywhere these days, so while we enjoy it, we can also use it for fun, learning, and kindergarten readiness with young children. Part of the fun this time of year is singing. We’ve all heard Frosty the Snowman, Jingle Bells, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer many times but kids haven’t. The repetition … Continue reading Reindeer-Pokey and Other Christmas Songs for Kids

Halloween Songs for Fun, Learning and Kindergarten Readiness

To make sure that there’s plenty of time to, er… enjoy … Halloween songs, and for fun, learning, and kindergarten readiness, here are some to sing over and over. Simple ones are easy to sing and action songs give a chance to try out some Halloween moves. Halloween Tens 1 little, 2 little, 3 little … Continue reading Halloween Songs for Fun, Learning and Kindergarten Readiness

Kindergarten Readiness: Fall Songs and Fingerplays

Do you remember any fall songs or fingerplays to do with your child? These are simple fun and learning activities that encourage kindergarten readiness. These can be done in quick minutes as you pour breakfast cereal, wash a face or zip up a jacket. Kids learn new words, language patterns, and rhythm. They stretch their … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness: Fall Songs and Fingerplays

Pirate Fun Activities For Kids #11: Pirate Songs

For today’s pirate play-of-the-day for fun, learning, and kindergarten readiness, kids can use a treasure that’s buried deep inside–their voices! The tune is familiar to many but the words are different. This goes to Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes. The action in the last line of each verse can be changed to lots of … Continue reading Pirate Fun Activities For Kids #11: Pirate Songs

Campfire Songs Boost Kindergarten Readiness

Sitting around the campfire and singing is a favorite activity at camps for kids but families can do it too for great fun and memories plus it boosts kindergarten readiness. Music has a powerful impact on children’s early development because it stimulates connections in the brain and singing is part of music. Following is a … Continue reading Campfire Songs Boost Kindergarten Readiness

Kindergarten Readiness/Early Learning – Minding P’s and Q’s

While working on writing posts for kindergarten readiness and early learning for each alphabet letter, p and q reminded me of the expression “minding your p’s and q’s.” This expression refers to minding your manners, and manners are an important part of social skills. Young children will begin spending time away from their parents, in … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness/Early Learning – Minding P’s and Q’s