I picture your week filled with fun times with books. I would love to hear your stories about any success you had with books or any insights.
This week we will think about how to use music to pop your child's language. We know that children love music and respond to it very early with wiggles and baby dancing.
The neat thing about songs is that they are very repetitive and often times use short phrases. Just like we are doing when we are focusing on popping language with our child. So, we are repeating, using short phrases, using animation or at least a fun voice and there is fun music involved...what child could resist?
Here are some hints of using what you already know to make music more fun and interactive.
Try to slow down the songs. Start listening to the speed of kids songs...they really are very fast which makes it hard for your child to "sing along". So, when you are singing with your child, slow the song way down. Think how fast we sing "old McDonald". If you sing it slower you can add pauses (to give your child an opportunity to join in-also known as taking a turn). You can build up the anticipation of what comes next "and on his farm he had a.............." and wait :)
Now lets add some props so that we can make it more fun and give the child a choice. So with Old McDonald I would have some animal figurines or stuffed animals or pictures of animals and then you can set up the turn like this "and on his farm he had a.... cow or horse?" and show them the props. And remember, when props are around, y0ur child may just take the lead and play with the props and the singing time might be done but you can still use the props to pop language.
Now lets focus on sounds/words that will be easy for your child to produce. I love Old McDonald because you have the "eieio" refrain which is easy for a child to say. But it works best if you slow it down and after modelling a couple times, pause for dramatic effect before you say "oh" because that can be fun and motivating. And using a dramatic voice makes things even more fun which keeps your child engaged for a longer time.
Another prop that can be fun is a toy microphone or even a real microphone. Some kids are hesitant to participate but put a microphone in front of them and it becomes a new activity. Also if you add instruments of any kind, this makes music more interactive. Instruments can be as simple as putting some rice or beans in a sealed jar or tube and shaking it and as fancy as buying instruments at the store. And don't forget about clapping and dancing and using your whole body while you are singing...moving around can keep the busy child engaged longer.
Here is something I want you to try this week. Sing to your child throughout the day, commenting on what they are doing. For example "put your sock on your foot, on your foot. Put your sock on your foot on your foot, put your sock on your foot, put your sock on your foot, put your sock on your foot on your foot." I know it would help if you could hear the tune that I am using. Try to use a tune that you already know but put your own words to it. Keep it simple, repetitive and fun. Let me know how it goes.
Have a great holiday weekend!