Children’s Songs and Games: The Magic of Music!

You think you will remember all the songs you heard as a child……but when you have a baby, or grandbaby, it takes a while to start sharing them because you have forgotten all the words!

After 30+ years of singing songs and making up games for our own two children and my little students I was teaching, I’m now having to pull them up again for my little grandson!

When he was born, I instinctively began singing to him.  I used 2 or 3 songs most of the time, knowing that babies like the repetition so they can learn language.  The most important reason, of course, was to let him know he was loved and to comfort him with a familiar loving voice.

As he grew, I added more songs and sounds, such as animal sounds and other sound effects.  The sound effects prompted lots of smiles, laughter, and eventually his own sounds and babbling.

His Mommy and Daddy knew he loved music and sounds, and they provided music and songs at home.  One of the sweetest moments I experienced was when he was only a few weeks old.  I was driving him and his Mommy (our baby) to a doctor’s appointment.  He was in his carseat, a little restless, and our daughter began singing an old spiritual she sang in chorus many years ago.  Her voice was beautiful as she sang, and he calmed and dozed off to sleep to his mama’s loving voice.

Babies and children don’t care how we sing or if we have perfect pitch and tone.  They only sense the love and the rhythm of sound.  They learn to make connections to life, and they learn how to understand and express their own language.

First Songs:

1 — Anything that is meaningful to you and Baby.  We have a musical teddy bear that belonged to our daughter and stays in our grandson’s crib at our house.  The music plays “Jesus Loves Me.”  He heard the music, and I sang the song.  It became a routine for me to sing it as I held him and comforted him when he was tired and ready to sleep.

Musical teddy bear

Musical teddy bear

2 — When babies are new to the world, we generally think of singing relaxing and gentle songs.  As they grow, they start to enjoy more interactive songs like “Old McDonald Had a Farm.”

3 — If someone plays a musical instrument, begin exposing Baby to ways to make music as soon as it’s possible.  We have a piano, and our 14-month old grandson has been “playing” the real piano since he was about 7 months old!  He loves to play with both hands and began using single fingers to play individual keys before he was a year old.  He enjoyed a Christmas decoration piano with Snoopy and learned to turn it off and on with one finger to hear Snoopy play his piano!

Exploring the piano!

Exploring the piano!

Using both hands...

Using both hands…

Turning on Snoopy's Christmas piano!

Turning on Snoopy’s Christmas piano!

4 — Toys, books and any play activity can be put to music.  Make up little songs and phrases that can be sung to any melody to make the game more fun!  When our grandson began to play with his magnetic shapes puzzle book, he first picked out a red lollipop circle.  I started singing an old tune “Lollipop, lollipop, la-la-la lollipop, lollipop!”  He imitates “lollipop” and knows which piece to reach for.

Magnetic Puzzle Book with Shapes

“Lollipop!”  Magnetic Puzzle Book with Shapes

Exploring the shapes and singing songs to encourage Baby

Exploring the shapes and singing songs to encourage Baby

5 — Babies of all ages usually love movement and dancing with Mommy and Daddy.  Slow or fast, it doesn’t matter to them.  They feel the loving interaction and special bonding time with their parents, or grandparents!

I will be posting some favorite songs and ideas for related games for babies and young children.  Of course, they will be inspired by my own children and grandson.  What songs are inspired by your children or grandchildren?!?