How Do Preschool Songs Benefit Young Children?
Most people know that preschool songs are a favorite among young children. However, not as many people understand why and how preschool songs benefit young children. There are many different ways that music, and songs in particular, help preschool children. These include teaching basic skills, promoting activity, increasing confidence and creating a fun learning environment. These all-important skills are the reason that preschool songs are an essential part of every preschool curriculum.
Teaches Basic Skills
Preschoolers have lots to learn; numbers, letters, spelling, even the day's weather. Long boring teaching sessions don't work well with children who have the attention spans of...well, young children. Songs can make these basic skills easier to learn and remember for young developing minds. For example, Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes is a fun and memorable songs that effectively teaches the parts of the body. For those of you who don't know this particular ditty, it goes like this:
'Head and shoulders, knees and toes, Knees and toes
Head and shoulders knees and toes, Knees and toes
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose
Head and shoulders, knees and toes, Knees and toes'
As you name the different body parts, you place your hands (or point to) that part. From experience I can tell you that children love this song and will remember it after only singing it a few times. It is important to start off singing it slow that the preschoolers can keep up with the movements. Over time you can gradually speed up the pace to keep the song-play exciting.
Anyone who has a three or four year old knows that they love to MOVE! In fact, it's much easier to get them up and running around than it is to try and convince them to sit still. And it is better for them too. With the country all up in arms about the increase in childhood obesity, it is a good idea to encourage all the activity possible while they still like jumping around and dancing, before television and video games take over their lives. Some great songs for encouraging movement are If You're Happy And You Know It and The Hokey Pokey both of which involve controlling different parts of the body. When you promote movement, you are increasing a child's gross motor skill and their understanding of their own body. Additionally, songs like The Hokey Pokey introduces the ideas of left and right to a preschool child.
Singing and dancing allows a preschool child to demonstrate their independence and autonomy. As they get better at remembering the words of the preschool songs and movements that go along, the children will feel more confident and powerful in their own right. Later on they may be allowed to choose and lead a sing-a-long whether in a classroom setting or just between you and your own child. Knowing that they can accomplish something like memorizing a song and singing it with you gives any child a real sense of confidence and empowerment.
Creates A Fun Learning Environment
Above all else, everything a preschooler does should have some element of fun to it. Later on, they will be bogged down with schoolwork and chores and activities so for now it is important that they can learn that learning can be fun. Teaching through preschool songs is a great way to add a bit of fun to any lesson, whether it is tying shoes or animal sounds. Additionally, songs sung during transitions from one activity to another can help alleviate the trouble that some young children have with moving from one thing to another by providing a consistent, comforting activity.
For all these reasons, and more, it is important to include singing into the daily routine of preschool-age children. Songs provide a chance for young children to learn new things more easily as well as increasing their activity level and self-confidence. Best of all, preschool songs add an important and much-needed element of fun into the child's life.