13 Reasons to Sing with Your Grandchildren
My first grandchild, Leon Carter Rose, was born this past week. As many of you know, being a grandparent is just about the best thing ever. I know this to be true from only four days’ experience!
I can’t wait to share musical fun with Leon. And of course, I’m already singing to him, every chance I get. There are so many good reasons to share music with children. And let’s have fun with music! Here are 13 reasons to sing with your grandchildren. Can you add to my list? Let’s share!
Music is for Everyone
Singing is simple. You don’t need to be a great singer or a musician to enjoy it.
Music and singing is something everyone can participate in, together, regardless of age or physical or mental capacity.
Music Brings Joy
Music is fun – that’s why we say we play music.
Music makes us happy! Literally! Singing and music experiences cause our brain to release “happiness hormones.”
Music Sustains Creativity and Learning
Singing allows us to be creative. You can make up your own words to familiar tunes.
Music lets you use your imagination and pretend. Act out favorite nursery rhymes as you sing them. Ms. Tiyi’s Garden, Three Little Kittens and other story songs are especially fun when you add simple props.
Music invites us to move and dance. Mix it up with songs from different genres. Don’t hesitate to use classical music such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Add some chiffon scarves to wave and dance with your grandchild.
Singing can teach you new things. Teach a child their phone number by singing the numbers to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
Music Serves as a Gentle (and Easy) Guide
Singing’s not messy. It can be done anywhere, anytime.
Music can soothe us and help us relax. The Riddle Song is one of my favorite lullabies.
Music can help direct focus where you want it to go and ease transitions. Try singing “It’s time to wear your coat” to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell.
Singing gives little ones the opportunity to make choices. What songs should we sing? Shall we play Farmer in the Dell or London Bridge is Falling Down?
Finally, songs can make us laugh. In the song The Bad Hair Day there are animals living in the little girl’s hair!
Note: All songs in bold are available on my CD Ms. Tiyi’s Garden.
What are your favorites? What songs did your mother sing to you? What songs do you sing to your grandchildren? What other ways have you had fun with music with your little ones? Please share in the comments.
Mary Sue Wilkinson is the founder of Singing Heart to Heart. She is a musician, a speaker and the author of “Songs You Know By Heart: A Simple Guide for Using Music in Dementia Care.” She is passionate about the power of music. Prior to her work with seniors, Mary Sue was a career early childhood educator and music teacher. Learn more at SingingHeartToHeart.com.