My big Jules, who is now 6 years old, has loved music since he was a baby. As far back as I can remember, he has always sung. When music rhymes with song, language is never far away!
I think it all started with “Youppi ya ya ya ya ya youppi yé!”. I initiated with “Youppi” and Jules answered with “ya ya ya ya”. This song encouraged him to produce sounds.
Later on, he started to complete some words. For example, when I started “The day is short after the…”, it ended: “night!”. It helped him to understand and say new words.
Then he started memorizing parts of songs, just because he loved them. It was a great motivation for him to exercise his memory and learn more complex words and sentences. In short, at all stages of a child’s development, songs are very stimulating for his or her language.
Today, I still sing regularly with Jules. Most of the time, we dance at the same time. That’s where I can see his little artistic side! Sometimes I am surprised to see that he understands a more difficult word. For example, recently, after hearing “We hugged” in a song, he came to take me in his arms to mime. It was very cute!
The song can even, in some cases, encourage children to play with words or produce colourful sentences. Just before they start school, they understand, for example, that some songs contain rhymes. They also understand that they address particular themes, such as love. They are ready to invent their own songs! The other day, Jules tried it with “All things go back to the sea” by scratching his father’s guitar in any way he could. I thought it was very poetic!
With the babysitter, he also likes to listen and sing new songs. I have a babysitter I love, that I found on Bsit. She sings very well and it is always nice to see my son humming new songs with her.
Which songs to choose?
When we think of children’s songs, we often refer to lullabies, nursery rhymes or classic children’s songs like “Sur le pont d’Avignon”. However, when I was leading workshops for parents, many told me that they did not particularly like these songs. I admit myself that I only love some of them, especially those who cradled my own childhood.
In my opinion, the most important thing in terms of music and interaction in general is to have fun listening, so the songs I play for my boys are usually the ones I like to listen to myself. At home, Plus haut (Koriass), Les coloriés (Alex Nevsky) and Papaoutai (Stromae), to name only the most famous, played in a loop. Once there, the choice of songs remains personal, as long as everyone can find their account! As far as I’m concerned, singing and dancing with my coconuts remains one of the activities I prefer to do with them… even if I’m not really a champion in this field!
On that note, I wish you a lot of fun with your little budding singers!