March is Sing With Your Child month, so break out in a joyous song. Even if you can't carry a tune, your child won't mind. In fact, they'll probably love your singing and make you feel like a singing sensation.
Not only is singing with children fun, it offers a lot of developmental benefits too. Singing can help children develop their language skills by slowing language down, so children can really hear what you are saying and pick out the small sounds or syllables that make up words. Rhyming lyrics also helps kids hear the sounds that make up language. Kids can learn new vocabulary through songs too. Even a song as simple as Row, Row, Row Your Boat introduces words like row and merrily that you probably don't use in every day conversations.
In addition to helping children develop language skills, singing together provides a wonderful opportunity for you to bond with your child. Sing a song while changing their diaper or getting ready for bed. Make up lyrics and sing about your daily routine or about your child. You can also use singing to sooth an upset child and as an added bonus, studies show that singing can relieve stress for you too.
If you don't know where to start, the library can help get those songs flowing. You can find recordings of children's songs and rhymes at StoryBlocks or come to storytime at your local library. In addition to reading books, we sing lots of songs and fingerplays. The library also has books that you can sing, instead of read. Some are illustrated versions of classic songs like The Itsy Bitsy Spider, while others are funny renditions of familiar songs, like The Seals on the Bus. If you're really nervous about singing and need a little help or you can't think of any songs, check out a CD of children's music and sing along.
Embrace your inner rock star to celebrate Sing With Your Child month and start singing today.