Come on everybody! Let’s sing and dance!
From the time they were tiny babies, this has to be my favourite shared activity when playing with my young grandchildren.
We sang and we danced as though no one was watching from the time they were tiny babies.
I do not have a brilliant singing voice. The experts say it doesn’t matter!! But it’s my voice the children like to hear!
My repertoire included:
- Soothing a grumpy baby or toddler with sweet lullabies my mum had sang to me (What beautiful memories that always evoked!).
- Nursery Rhymes.
- Children’s action songs (especially the early Wiggles).
- Finger rhymes (I wonder if I could have been a millionaire if I had been given a dollar for every time I’ve done “This little Piggy went to Market” on my grandchild’s fingers/toes?) .
- Songs my family sang to me.
- Popular songs I love to sing.
I am sure my grandchildren’s language skills prove the evidence that engaging in such activities does in fact develop language skills and interest in musical activities. The endorphins released when we sang helped embed the feelings and words into their brain’s pathways.
I started out bopping around, while holding baby, to any of the music playing on Spotify, the radio or CD’s which included: Classical, Children’s songs, Pop/ rock (I love using “Queen” songs, also “Beatles”) , Jazz , Folk , whatever I had on hand, including soothing music like Twinkle, Twinkle little star. These would always create delight and joy.
Then, by the time they were toddlers, they bopped along with me.
We were developing muscle strength, body awareness and balance but also sending out endorphins which added to our sense of fun and connection.
I celebrated Grandparents Day because…… Grandparents play such a great part in helping children Play to Learn.
For more play ideas that are great for grandparents and children of all ages and abilities visit our Start Strong page.
By Jenny, Special Educator and grandparent to 4 grandchildren.