Music and singing are great ways to communicate and to relax. Children respond very positively to rhyme, rhythm and melody. Learning is actually easier when it can be done through a medium such as song. With this in mind introducing regular singing sessions will help enhance children’s enjoyment and learning.
Songs that preschoolers will invariably love should get them active, engaged and having fun. There are so many songs that could be suitable and choosing just ten songs from a range of preschool and toddler tunes is a difficult task. We have chosen a selection of old favourites as well as a couple of great participation songs that get children totally engaged.
This almost universally popular song is almost always one of the first songs learned by toddlers. Based on a very simple traditional melody Ah! vous dirai-je, maman that was once arranged by Mozart. The lyrics are attributed to English poet Jane Taylor who published the five verse poem in 1806. The song can be used to encourage children to become engaged by holding their arms aloft and wiggling their fingers to symbolise the twinkling star.
Is an extremely popular repetitive song which features heavily on a number of preschool television shows. The song itself is believed to have been written around 1939. A great action song allowing children to mimic the wheels on the bus going “round and round”. The song is sung to the tune of round and round the mulberry bush. Extra verses include the wipers going swish, the horn going beep and the people on the bus going up and down.
A very popular song that allows children to mimic the sounds of all the farmyard animals – the song enables some flexibility in particular animals and can aid learning and introduce different species as time goes on. The first known recorded variation of this song dates to around the first world war, although it is thought to be much older than that The melody itself dates back to an Opera piece dating back to the early eighteenth century.
Is an old favourite that children love as they can perform all the hand actions associated. This is a good one to settle children who are getting a little restless.
There are a couple of variations of this song where the ducks either go swimming or go out over the hills and far away. It is a great counting song that introduces simple subtraction concepts and allows some scope for hand movements.
Is a hugely popular song that engages and entertains. The lyrics are based on the hugely popular children’s book by Michael Rosen and has featured heavily in children’s TV shows such as ABC’s Play school.
Is an old favourite that encourages rowing actions. The song can be sung in rounds by older children. The lyrics of this song date back to 1852 while the current melody emerged around 1881.
Another great participation song that introduces the circle to singing and play. This is an old traditional rhyme that has its origins in the time of the plague. The second and third verses have been added at a much later date.
A simple learning song that teaches children the alphabet in an almost subconscious fashion.
More a simple sing song type nursery rhyme than a song in itself Humpty Dumpty tells a story that captivates the imagination. Humpty Dumpty had become a much loved childhood character and the rhyme reinforces this attachment.
Naturally, there are numerous other great children’s songs that can be used to engage and enthral children, but these ten make a great starting point.