High Five: Sing

High Five keeps parents and children coming back to Chandler Public Libraries, in person or not! High Five is an early literacy promotion that introduces five key concepts: Talk, Sing, Read, Write and Play. Read on for more ideas about how singing can get kids ready to read!

Singing is an important tool for language development. Songs can introduce new vocabulary and help with learning concepts like numbers and colors. When you sing, you slow the words down and the beat of the music breaks words up into syllables. Try to emphasize the rhythm by clapping, or use simple instruments like bells, rhythm sticks or shakers. You can make drums with pots and pans too. Try starting a familiar song slow and gradually speeding up to add a challenge!

Songs with accompanying movements, like the Itsy Bitsy Spider, improve motor skills and help children memorize a sequence of actions and follow directions. It’s also great for when kids are wiggly and not in the mood to sit down and read a book. They will get many of the benefits of being read to in a way that won’t be as frustrating. For babies, you can do lifts, tickles or sway and bounce to the music. With a toddler, it’s easier to do larger body movements, such as using the whole hand instead of individual fingers.

Remember that it doesn’t matter if you are a good singer! Your child will enjoy your singing whether you are in tune or not. If it helps you feel more confident and have more fun, bond with your child over some of your favorite songs. Preschoolers are already beginning to form preferences about music. Helping them find recorded favorites of their own gives them a chance to express themselves and explore new genres, cultures, and instruments.

Looking for new music? Check out Freegal, a collection of downloadable music from the Sony catalog, and get five songs per week free with your library card! Some are by artists you might already know. They Might Be Giants have several children’s albums; No!, and Why? are both available on Freegal. The lead singer of Presidents of the United States also performs as Caspar Babypants, with fun danceable songs on any kid topic you can imagine. The Verve Pipe perform a range of genres: The Family Album and Are We There Yet?Johnny Cash even has a children’s album. If you haven’t seen it, watch him sing Nasty Dan to Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street.

Other awesome children’s musicians on Freegal:

Jazzy Ash - Enjoy New Orleans style jazz.

Lucky Diaz - Bilingual, danceable music from the winners of two Latin GRAMMYs!

Songs For Wiggleworms - Some familiar action songs that are easy to sing.

Kira Willey - Songs for mindful movement.

Bari Koral - Another musician with a focus on mindfulness.

Recess Monkey - Silly songs with a catchy indie rock vibe.

Jose-Luis Orozco - Spanish and English action songs with a folkloric flavor.

The Not Its - Awesome kid rock with crazy characters.

Mo Phillips - Goofy and groovy and a real good time!

Elizabeth Mitchell - Beautiful folk songs and songs in Spanish.

Red Yarn - Folk rockers who have awesome videos with puppets too!

Yo Gabba Gabba - With songs from guest stars like Weezer and George Clinton, you’re bound to have fun with these albums.

Lead Belly Baby - Enjoy blues and folk with these fun tunes.

Play Date - Catchy pop music about apples, foxes and cardboard boxes.

Shanghai Restoration Project - Children’s songs in Chinese mixed with electronica.

Night Light - Peaceful songs with ukulele by Malaysian singer songwriter Zee Avi.

Little Miss Ann - Celebrates her Filipina-American heritage with songs like “Ube,” which is about a purple yam used in desserts.