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Cherie

Cherie Norquay is a family-focused, early childhood music teacher and blogger who believes in empowering parents to nurture their children's musical experiences. She loves spending time with her family, gardening and hiking the great outdoors. Cherie teaches privately from her home studio in Janesville, Wisconsin and offers classes for babies and toddlers at a local community room. Her blog features articles about parenting tips as well as lessons on topics such as teaching piano to preschoolers, finding the best music for kids to listen and move to, and teaching parents confidence in nurturing their child's musical experience no matter what that may be.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Piano Activity

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, a popular English nursery rhyme, is one of the very first songs a toddler learns to sing. And it makes them so happy when they can learn to play this song on the piano. While it is not the easiest first song, it is not the most difficult. And because children already know the melody so well, their ear can help guide them to play the correct notes. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Piano Sheet Music with Letters makes this song accessible on piano to even the youngest preschoolers.

Music Alphabet and Note Names

Very young children are not ready to read music notes right away, so it is helpful to use music alphabet letters to help them play this song. Sheet music with alphabet letters give kids a visual to follow (an more importantly help parents guide their kids!)

I like to use piano keyboard letters on the piano for all young children. These visuals help them learn the groups of two and three black keys and they also see which alphabet letters line up with the black keys.

Learning Middle C

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star begins on Middle C. Middle C is the very first note many children learn. One reason is because this note is singable, and many early childhood songs begin on this note. Middle C is also a white key and many beginner songs play on white keys.

I like to play games at the piano and always ask kids to sing the sound of Middle C. We then check to see if the pitch they sing is correct by playing the note. Eventually kids DO learn the sound of Middle C and that is the beginning of developing perfect pitch.

Right Hand and Left Hand

Little children begin learning about right hand and left hand as they learn to color, draw, cut and write their name. I always look to see which hand is dominant and encourage children to start playing little piano songs with the dominant hand. But I always challenge children to learn to play with their other hand, too, so both hands fingers get strengthened.

Fingering

When teaching very young children, they are still learning how to use their fingers independently. It is easier to teach this song with only one finger. The index finger (pointer) OR middle finger are the two best fingers to begin playing piano with as young children can use the thumb to brace the knuckle joint and help develop the proper hand shape for playing piano.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is a wonderful five finger piano song, but when kids start playing, using all five fingers can be a huge challenge (or even obstacle). The pinky and ring finger do not like to cooperate and so some fun finger games may be needed to get them working well (even older 7, 8, 9, and 10 year olds may struggle getting these fingers strengthened).

Patterns in Music

One of the first things I ask kids to notice are the patterns in the music. Finding patterns in sheet music helps kids see that the song may only have a couple different parts to learn. Piano lessons become less about just looking at notes and practicing long sequences of notes and more about finding “shortcuts” in songs.

For instance, you can save time by practicing the opening line of Twinkle Twinkle and learning that really well instead of playing through the whole song everytime. Also, in the middle of the song, GG FF EE D pattern repeats. Learning the different patterns of the melody help beginners practice more efficiently.

I like to play games with the patterns and ask kids to play them with different fingers! You can also ask more questions: Can you play the beginning melody notes with index finger? What about with middle finger? Can you play with the Left Hand? and so on.

Pattern identification is also essential to math skills in school. Isn’t it wonderful when we can use music to teach academics!?!

Piano Keyboard Fun

Because Twinkle Twinkle Little Star has patterns, I designed a fun little composition activity based on the many patterns you find in this song. I thought it would be fun for kids to take these patterns or notes ideas and place them in any order they’d like to create a NEW song.

Mixed Up Little Star Piano Activity

First, I recommend learning how to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Young children should be comfortable playing this song well and if possible learn to play this song with the music alphabet letters. Learning where the white key music alphabet letters are in C Major will help them be able to play the little patterns for the mixed up song. It takes time for beginners to learn the music alphabet, so don’t rush this process.

Kids LOVE to create their own songs on piano. A fun little melody or a repeating jazzy rhythm is fun for kids to discover so I always look for opportunities to allow kids to MAKE their own music! Afterall, isn’t that what enjoying music is all about? And even the youngest children should be encouraged and allow this opportunity!

As a piano teacher, my goal is to help every child fall in love with making music and playing the piano. And I hope by creating these resources for parents and teachers of young children, that you too will be able to encourage kids to fall in love with music!

How do you play Twinkle Twinkle on the piano?

Piano Lessons for Parents

For those of you who need a little help knowing how to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I have created a video (below) that you can use to teach yourself how to play Twinkle Twinkle piano. You don’t have to be a piano teacher to learn how to teach your kids songs they know and are excited to learn! And here are 10 ways parents can help their young children get ready for piano lessons.

Music Alphabet Sheet Music

Twinkle twinkle little star, How I wonder what you are, Up above the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky, Twinkle twinkle little star, How I wonder what you are.


Piano Race Game

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    5 Winter Preschool Songs and Fingerplays

    WINTER PRESCHOOL SONG

    Winter songs for young children include visualizations of snowflakes whirling, cold winter winds, Arctic animals like polar bears and penguins, or building a chubby little snowman. Kids love singing winter songs about icy toes, jingle bells, jack frost, and Rudolph’s little red nose. I am always on the watch for new, fun and easy songs to sing, dance and play with toddlers and preschoolers. Today I want to share with you 5 NEW winter songs that any parent or pre k teacher can teach young children, because each song is set to a tune that is already familiar. But first, let’s talk a little bit about why the cold days of winter deserve front and center attention.

    Winter music for Preschoolers and Toddlers

    The seasons are very easy for children to identify. Springtime bursts forth with green grass, budding trees, and blooming flowers. All of the plants spring to life after the cold days of winter. In summer, the weather is hot. Lighter weight clothing is necessary because the sun shines so hot. Then fall arrives and air whirling leaves blow all around. Animals are busy preparing for a winter long rest time.

    Winter is significant. The entire ground is covered in white snow (in many parts of the U.S.). A chilly nose, chattering teeth, the need for a warming hat and coat are obvious. So let’s take the season of winter and get the most learning mileage we can. Below you will see many learning concepts you can teach any pre k child using fun and easy wintery songs.

    Learning with Winter Songs

    Counting

    There are several winter songs that teach counting. And let’s have fun! We won’t just count with one finger. Let’s get out all our fingers and toes!

    I have a blog post and downloadable book featuring Counting Songs for Preschoolers. Many of these songs can be adapted and used in the winter months. For example, you can change the words in the song “Bell Horses” to “Sleigh Horses.” Or, you can change the words “little ducks” in the song, “Five Little Ducks” to another animal like “snowy owls,” or “arctic fox.” Or you can change the lyrics in the song “Ten Little Indians” to lyrics like “Ten Little Penguins, or Ten Frosty Snowmen, or Ten Polar Bears in the snow”.

    Winter or Arctic Animals

    Kids love animals. Some animals live where it is always cold. Arctic animals have antics that mesmerize young children. A waddling penguin dance, skating polar bear on the tundra, hopping arctic fox hunting for food… these are all movements kids can copy as they sing a winter song.

    Some animals take a long winter rest and hibernate for months. Kids love to discover how animals live, eat, and sleep. I especially love the story about The Bear Who Couldn’t Sleep. Kids can often relate to what it is like to have a hard time falling asleep. And you can discuss helpful ways that make it easier to fall asleep faster at naptime or bedtime.

    Descriptive Words

    little snowman

    “Little Snowmen I Can See” is a sweet winter song based on the tune “Where is Thumbkin”. I love singing interactive songs with young children where they can help think of other descriptive words we can sing in place of the word “little”.

    Four year olds can usually hear that the word little has two syllables, so we try to think of other descriptive words that also have two syllables. Sometimes it is silly to have bigger syllable words and I always use their ideas and have a great laugh.

    Some ideas for two-syllable words may include: winter, great big, hungry, sleepy, tired, happy, smiling, yellow, purple, etc. My granddaughter’s favorite color is aquamarine. Now THAT would be an example of a silly descriptive word that I would LOVE to sing!

    Weather

    Winter weather captures the imagination of children. Fascinated by a window’s jack frost kissed patterns, giant icicles hanging from the eaves, or blankets of snow with rambling animal tracks, kids have many beautiful images to wonder about.

    Snowflakes dancing on a winter wind, ice landing on a snowy tree, animal tracks roaming across the yard all indicate that the weather is COLD! Pre K kids may wonder why the leaves fell off some trees, but other trees stay green. They will need to learn about how to dress and what kind of clothes they need to stay warm. How much snow is on the ground? Can we measure it? There are so many things preschool teachers and parents can teach through studying the weather and encouraging a child’s sense of wonder.

    Imagination

    I created the interactive finger play, “Tracks in the Snow,” just so kids could participate in the wonder of winter. This fingerplay gets kids thinking about what kind of animals will walk in the snow. Some animals may hibernate all winter long. Some animals just keep warm in their nest, curled in a round ball and coming out in the daylight to eat.

    I also add counting to this finger play. Each verse gives you an opportunity to add a different animal and each time you an animal you can one more count. Can you count to five? ten? fifteen?

    Calendar and Seasons

    The calendar is linked to the seasons and the weather. So teaching the months of winter and keeping track of the weather each day is a fun activity for kids. You can put little snowflakes on the days that snow fell and count how many days it snowed in winter (or in one month). Likewise you can keep track of cloudy or sunny days.

    “Little Snowflakes Falling Down” is an easy song to learn because it is sung to the tune “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. Add this cute song to your winter theme. You can have snowflakes falling and land on other parts of the body like the knee, elbow, or shoulder. Or the snow can land on your clothes like a hat, mitten, scarf, coat or boots. Winter songs like this give you a lot of creativity to change them up. Perhaps your snowflakes dance or maybe your snowflakes smiled? Below I will give you a few more ideas on how you can create or change winter songs for preschoolers to fit your exact needs.

    New Winter Songs to Teach Kids

    As an Early Childhood Educator, I get tired of singing the same old snowman songs, winter hokey-pokey, snowkey pokey, and super simple songs. I totally understand when preschool teachers get tired of teaching about winter because they are always reaching for the same materials year after year. That is why I created new pre k songs. New songs you can use at circle time, new songs that save time because they are easy to learn and teach and weave into your winter theme. Kids songs that parents and kids love to sing over and over at home because they are fun and interactive.

    FREE WINTER SONGS PRINTABLE

    You can get these 5 NEW Winter Songs when you join the Music Time Kid Community. I offer new free content for community members that you can download, print and use right away!

    Winter Songs for Preschoolers

    In this collection of winter songs, you will find familiar melodies that you will already know with some new lyrics and actions. I will also give you ideas on how you can take these winter songs and get kids involved in the music creation. Whether you use these winter songs at circle time in your pre k program or just having fun with your toddler in your living room, kids love to make music and they love to be a part of the creation process.

    So, I am offering you this 5 song collection of fun and interactive winter songs that you can download, print and use right now. Cut out some snowflakes, bake some cut-out cookies, or dance a frosty freeze dance with jingle bells to add to the fun. Printing this music will save time as you plan for winter-time fun this year!

    Tracks in the Snow

    Little Snowflakes Falling Down

    Five Frosty Snowmen

    Little Snowmen I Can See

    Ten Little Arctic Animals Song

    Favorite Winter Finger Play

    One of my favorite winter fingerplays is called “I Built a Little Snowman”.

    If you can point me to the author, please point me in their direction, so I can give them the proper attribution. This is how I teach this finger play.

    I Built a Little Snowman

    I built a little snowman, he had a carrot nose, along came a bunny, and what do you suppose? That hungry little bunny, looking for some lunch, ate the snowman’s carrot nose, nibble, nibble crunch!

    Kids have so much fun imagining swiping the poor little nose off that little snow person. It is one of the most requested winter fingerplays in my music classes.

    Best Winter Songs for Kids on Youtube

    Here are links to some of the songs I know my young families love. Super Simple Songs is one of my favorite channels and they even offer “how to teach” videos for many of their songs on their channel.

    Super Simple Songs

    The Kiboomers

    How to Turn Any Song into a Winter Song

    Often you will find new and original lyrics set to old familiar tunes. This is intentional. It is easy for parents and preschool teachers to learn new songs when they already know the melody. It is easy for KIDS to learn a new song when they already know the melody. This is also WHY I am a big fan of teaching young children songs they already know when they first begin to play the piano. It’s easy to teach something new from a foundation of something already known. (Learn more about that here).

    So…See if you can take a familiar tune and make up some fun new lyrics. (See more examples of this in 15 Singable Autumn Songs for Preschoolers PDF)

    Two examples are I’m a Little Snowman sung to the tune I’m a Little Teapot, or singing the Snowkey Pokey to the hokey pokey tune. Find ways to incorporate things kids are learning like colors, counting, weather, animals, feelings, etc into your song. This list is a great place to get started.

    Tunes you may already know

    Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

    Row Row Row Your Boat

    Mary Had a Little Lamb

    Where is Thumbkin

    Ten Little Indians

    If You’re Happy and You Know It

    The Wheels on the Bus

    Hot Cross Buns

    Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

    London Bridges

    FREE WINTER SONGS PRINTABLE

    You can get these 5 NEW Winter Songs when you join the Music Time Kid Community. I offer new free content for community members that you can download, print and use right away!

    Let me know if you have created a new winter song! I’d love to hear it!

    Develop Fine Motor Skills for Piano Lessons

    Many parents want their young children to have a head start with piano lessons. This article will show some ways parents can encourage fine motor skills for toddlers and preschoolers. I will also show you how I like to adapt early childhood education toys to develop more advanced skills that will, at the same time teaching basic piano skills.

    toddler piano lessons

    Fine Motor Skill Development

    Why is fine motor skill development important? Toddlers and preschoolers need to develop fine motor skills to be successful in school. Five fine motor skills kids need for Kindergarten include:

    • Grip
    • Name writing
    • Letter Formation
    • Number formation
    • Use of scissors
    fine motor skills

    Children build fine motor skills through a variety of childhood activities. Encouraging a child’s fine motor skills not only prepares kids for school, but also for playing the piano! You can help your child improve hand muscle strength and coordination of the fingers. is extremely important for beginners.

    What Do Fine Motor Skills Involve?

    Fine motor skills involve developing the small muscles that school aged children need for success in school. These are more complex skills that young kids need work to develop. Most kids need lots of repetition with fine motor skills. Some examples, everyday tasks, or fun activities that encourage fine motor development include:

    • dialing a phone
    • using a remote
    • using a computer mouse
    • turning doorknobs
    • buttoning and unbuttoning clothes
    • tying shoelaces
    • brushing teeth and flossing
    • using a toilet
    • picking up small objects, for example cheerioes
    • eating with utensils
    • opening and closing containers
    • turning the pages of a book
    • playing musical instruments
    • coloring
    • drawing
    • cutting construction paper
    • stacking blocks
    • finger paint
    • play dough
    • playing board games

    Fine Motor Development for Piano Lessons

    Most children will need to work on hand muscle strength, hand eye coordination, wrist stability, pincer grasp, and independence of thumb, index finger, middle finger, ring finger and pinky fingers. Fine motor skills develop only when kids have the opportunity to practice fine motor skills. Developing fine motor skills, as shown above, need not be isolated exercises. However, children develop these skills and refine them with parental intentionality.

    When parents approach me to teach their four or five year old, an assessment of their motor skills is one of the first things I look at to see if a child is ready for piano lessons. Often I can encourage parents to build fine motor skills at home for a while if the child’s development isn’t where it needs to be. Of course at this age, developmental milestones are individual and we need to allow kids to develop at their own pace. But the development of fine motor skills can be nurtured with daily activities and games.

    Games for Fine Motor Skills for Toddlers and Preschoolers

    There are a lot of early childhood education games that teach math skills like sorting, patterns, numbers, counting, etc. Often these games can be augmented to support learning basic musical concepts needed in piano lessons because there is math in music.

    Sneaky Mouse Card Game

    sneaky mouse fine motor skill game

    Sneaky Mouse Game is an augmented game based on the Last Mouse Lost Game. The Sneaky Mouse cards help develop finger independence and also teach the finger numbers for piano lessons. You can check out this blog post and watch this Youtube video for more information about this game. It’s even fun for beginners age 5-8 years old.

    Muffin Music Game

    Muffin Music Game is an augmented game based on the Learning Resources’ Mini Muffin Match Game. Squeezie tweezers will strengthen the hand muscles. Colors, numbers, and sorting are all educational features of the game. And this game easily turns itself into a preschool piano game as Music Muffin Game highlights note values: quarter note = 1, half note = 2, dotted half note = 3, and whole note = 4 counts.

    See how to play Muffin Music Match!

    What if my child isn’t ready?

    Every child progresses at their own pace. Activities that include a lot of movement (gross motor skills) are also age appropriate and often more fun if your child struggles with the more complex fine motor skills. I always recommend group music classes or online classes (Like my online class with Beethoven, the adorable, pancake lovin’ sheep dog!) to help teach basic musical concepts that will also help prepare your child for piano lessons!

    If this sounds like something you and your child are interested in, then check out my free music class here!

    online toddlers music class

    Get your FREE Music Mini-Class

    Your toddler or preschooler will love this Music Mini-Class.  Join me and Beethoven, an adorable pancake loving sheepdog as we sing, dance and play together!

    Tuck Me Into Bed Music

    tuck me into bed

    “Tuck me into bed,” most kids beg! But bedtime is probably one of the biggest struggles for parents. They wonder, “How do I get my child to sleep?”

    As a parent of five children and grandparent to four wonderful kids, I know the struggle is real. So this blog post will provide you with some helpful ideas and music that you can use to make bedtimes easier.

    Calming Bedtime Routines

    Kids respond well to predictable routines. Most families function better when there is a consistent schedule and routines, as kids will understand what to expect and can meet parental expectations more successfully. Younger children just fall into the routine naturally when it is introduced from an early age. Every family’s bedtime routines will differ. This article has some great ideas for creating bedtime routines. Ideas I suggest as calming bedtime activities include:

    • Bath time
    • Story time
    • Brushing teeth
    • Getting a drink of water
    • Turning on a night light
    • Turning on a playlist of soft music
    • Laying out clothes for the next day

    Personal One-on-One Interaction

    Busy lives keep many families from connecting on a close and personal level. Bedtime offers parents and kids the opportunity to show one-on-one love, care, and kindness to each other. This is especially important at bedtime, as the bedtime hour often affects a child’s sleep and whether or not a child is able to settle down and rest.

    Tuck Me In Bedtime Songs

    Music has benefits on kids’ health and that is great because kids love music! AND, they love it when parents sing to them! I created this post about lullabies that calm your baby. For toddlers and older kids, the perfect bedtime songs are the ones your child knows. Can you sing their favorite song to them?

    Early childhood songs many kids learn while they are young is “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Other songs kid love include, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “You are My Sunshine”, “If You’re Happy and You Know It”, or “Old MacDonald.”

    You may even find some great songs in these free printable resources:

    15 counting songs
    Counting Songs
    music and movement
    Songs with Actions

    Providing Soothing and Calming Music

    One app I love as a parent is Youtube. The Music Time Kid Youtube Channel provides several long play music videos for a variety of falling to sleep or relaxing options. The following videos are suggestions for you to add to your playlist on your Youtube app. They are sure to help at bedtime when you tuck kids into bed.

    Tuck Me Into Bed

    Calm Kid Music

    High Tide Calm Music

    Ocean sleep music to help you fall asleep faster.

    Magical Moments Bedtime Music

    Calming and Sleeping Guitar Music

    Peaceful Music for Sleep

    Beautiful View of the Night Sky

    I hope you find some wonderful help in using these long play videos when you tuck your child into bed!


    More Musical Opportunities for families

    toddler online music class

    Get your FREE Music Mini-Class

    Your toddler or preschooler will love this Music Mini-Class.  Join me and Beethoven, an adorable pancake loving sheepdog as we sing, dance and play together!

    Ocean Sleep Music to Help You Fall Asleep Fast

    This ocean sleep music video and blog post has been created to help MrBeast in an effort to clean 30 MILLION pounds of trash out of our world’s oceans before the end of 2021. Please help in this effort at #TeamSeas.

    Ocean Sounds and Beautiful Music

    ocean sleep music

    Fall into a deep sleep with ocean sounds and beautiful music. This relaxing music will help you unwind so you can fall asleep quickly. This sleep music ocean waves is one hour of soothing and peaceful music that is perfect for naptime, bedtime, meditation, prayer, study music or just background music for chilling out.

    Check out this blog post for more lullabies that calm and put your baby to sleep OR this blog post with 50 gentle sleeping songs for kids that you probably have never heard before! These are all great resources to have on your device for instant access!

    Follow Music Time Kid Youtube channel for more videos created for relaxing, peaceful atmosphere for bedtime or relaxing.


    High Tide Calm Music

    Deep Sleep Music for Everyday

    Check out the Calm and Relaxing Music for Parents Playlist on Youtube. This youtube play list provides several hours of relaxing and soothing music. It’s the perfect playlist to add to your device for naptimes, car rides, study time and bedtime.

    Also follow us on Facebook.

    Tuck Me Into Bed Music

    “Tuck me into bed,” most kids beg! But bedtime is probably one of the biggest struggles for parents. They wonder, “How do I get …
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    Join the Music Time Kid Community!

    Now you can download a FREE piano game that I play with EVERY piano student at their first lessons. It’s my way of thanking you for joining the Music Time Kid Community where you can expect to receive more amazing content that is created just for parents and teachers of young children. Easy to understand instructions and videos will help you teach basic music concepts to your child at home!

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      How Parents Can Support Their Preschoolers When They Take Piano Lessons

      I am excited to share this Guest Blog Post with you! Thank you to Liz, from Modern Musical Parenting for writing this article for the Music Time Kid community. I know you will get so much help as you read her 5 tips for parents.

      Piano Lessons for Preschoolers: 5 Tips for Parents to Help Their Child Succeed

      Have you ever thought about enrolling your toddler or preschooler in piano lessons? Or any music lessons for that matter? Perhaps, voice, violin, or guitar?

      Well, you definitely aren’t alone in wanting to introduce your young child to music through lessons! In fact, while only 34% of children aged 6-7 years old’s are taking lessons, that number increases to 50% for 8-10 year olds![1]

      piano lessons for preschoolers

      Now, that percentage of children enrolled in lessons will decrease as children get older, but  many of those children continue to play instruments. So, lessons can be a wonderful tool to help your child learn to read music, which can then be carried on in later years. By enrolling your preschooler in lessons, you are giving them a solid foundation to continue in music.

      Maybe your preschooler is already enrolled in piano lessons. Most piano teachers see an increase of student interest right around the start of the school year. So, if your preschooler has been going to lessons now for a few weeks, you might be wondering just how you can support them!

      So, before we take a look at how you as a parent can encourage, support, and help your child in their musical endeavors, let’s take a look at some of the important questions regarding piano lessons and your preschooler.

      What kinds of piano lessons for preschoolers are there?

      In short, lessons are a particularly wonderful way to introduce your child to music. And many parents are familiar with the traditional type of lessons where their child will work 1-to-1 with a teacher. But for younger children, especially preschoolers, 1-to-1 lessons might not be the best for your child.

      That’s where the different types of lessons come into play!

      Group Lessons

      Many parents opt for group piano lessons, particularly with younger children. Group lessons offer the benefit of playing and learning with a small group of similarly aged children. This is particularly helpful to younger children because they can learn together as well as from each other.

      Plus, in those group lessons, the parents are typically required (or sometimes just encouraged) to sit with their child. So, you are learning right along with them, and this is wonderful support – again, particularly for preschoolers.

      And yet another advantage of the group piano lessons is that they usually occur with keyboards. Keyboards are a much more accessible instrument for younger children, especially consider the overwhelming size of even an upright piano. And many more households can access keyboards more readily than pianos. So, all around, these are quite a good option for young children.

      Child & Parent Lessons

      Another option for piano lessons is that you both take lessons from the same teacher at the same time! It’s a slight variation on the 1-to-1 lessons but your teacher will work with both of you at the same time. Perhaps, you would like to remember how to read music or would just like to know the basics. Either way, taking these types of 2-to-1 lessons with your teacher is another perfect example of the types of lessons available to your child (and you!).

      One-on-One Lessons

      If you do decide to start with 1-to-1 lessons for your child, the Music Teacher’s National Association has a few questions to ask your teacher before you start with music lessons. These kinds of questions can help you find a good teacher for your child.


      Why are piano lessons so highly recommended over other instruments for preschoolers?

      Now, I’ll be honest. I’m a bit biased because I am a pianist myself! I do think that learning piano holds some advantages over other instruments for beginners. And you don’t have to take my word for it. Just take a look at these advantages that the piano offers over other instruments!

      However, the main reason I suggest piano (and with that, I also mean the keyboard as well) for preschoolers is that this particular instrument can produce tuned pitches with the push of a finger. All other instruments will require the learner to listen and tune a pitch – something most preschoolers cannot yet do without some practice.

      And while listening is an important skill for anyone learning about music, it can be a challenge for such young learners. So, your preschooler can learn simple melodies, like “Hot Cross Buns” or “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” without having to learn about tuning. And, this can give them the confidence to continue in music.

      How can I find piano lessons for preschoolers near me?

      One of the easiest ways to find a recommended piano teacher near you, is to ask your local friends or family for any recommendations! Don’t be afraid to ask those in your local community, like at churches, community centers, and in the neighborhood. Those with a good reputation are generally always highly recommended by their students’ parents.

      Another way is to search online for a music teacher through the Music Teacher’s National Association website. You can search for teachers of all instruments (from accordion to woodwinds!) and easily see how close they are to you, whether they are accredited teachers, and how best to contact them.

      Don’t be afraid to reach out at any time of year. They will generally let you know quickly if their studio is full and whether you can be placed on a waiting list.


      Now, with all of this information at hand, let’s take a look at the top 5 tips and suggestions for encouraging your child to continue in their piano lessons. These are easy for any parent to do, regardless of your own musical upbringing.

      Tip #1: Find the right type of music lesson for your preschooler.

      parent and preschooler

      As outlined above, you can see that these days there are many types of music lessons for young children. You can consider if your child is a bit more social, or perhaps they are always shy with other children around.

      Now, another benefit of group lessons is that the parents are asked to attend (at the very least) and sometimes even help their children. This gives you are particularly good opportunity to engage with them and learn right along with them!

      Once you’ve found a music lesson for you child, make sure you talk to them about it! Ask them what they like about those lessons. Ask them what they dislike about those lessons! Once of the best ways is to find out from them what they think.

      Tip #2: Build connections between music and other topics.

      Now, perhaps I’m a bit partial with this particular tip. But, I do feel that as soon as we can show our children that music is not it’s own unique bubble, they start seeing and hearing it everywhere! They can hear the rhythmic patterns in words. They can be reminded of a song when a bird sings or they see pumpkins. Or perhaps they can even remember how to count backwards from 5 with the help of a song!

      preschooler playing

      Most often, you’ll see how music can help your young children with math and language skills. Counting songs help your child learn number sequences, while the rhymes, alliterations, and rhythmic texts of nursery rhymes and children’s songs help them learn the basics of language.

      Just take a look at the 30 ways you can engage your child with a single song! These activities include other musical activities, math activities, language activities, and others. You can also use these activities with any children’s song. And chance are, one of the first melodies your child will learn on the piano is a well-known children’s song, like “Hot Cross Buns” or “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

      Tip #3: Engage your child with music outside and beyond their lessons!

      Despite what style of music lesson your preschooler is taking, learning more about music outside their lesson will be incredibly beneficial. And for this particular tip, there are two simple ways to do this.

      First, consider playing simple games that reinforce the concepts they are learning. Music Match and Memory Games are an excellent choice for reinforcing musical concepts your child might be learning! There are even a few different ways to play musical memory depending on your child’s age. 

      Second, play a wide variety of music for your preschooler! It doesn’t have to be just classical music or just children’s songs.  A mixture of all kinds of music will work well. Throw in some of your own favorite tunes and tell them why you like that song. Try to fully experience the music you are listening to by talking about it, dancing to it, or even just sitting and listening together!

      Think of listening to music like reading to your child. You wouldn’t only read them Shakespeare! You’ll read many different types of books, like picture books, story books, short poems and nursery rhymes, and even a snippet of what you are reading sometimes! Mixing it up makes it interesting for them, as well.

      Tip #4: Help to make their practice part of their daily (or almost daily) routine.

      One of the most important things to remember with practicing, especially for preschoolers, is that short, regular practice sessions are best. Even 5-10 minutes once a day will work well. You really can’t expect a young child to sit focused for more than that. And, you (and the teacher) are likely to see more progress with these short, daily practice sessions when compared to 30 minutes once a week outside lessons!

      Also remember that practicing does not have to occur at the piano! And it also doesn’t mean simply playing a song they are learning from beginning to end. Practice can also be done away from the piano.

      Try having them “play” their piece they are learning while sitting at the table and playing an imaginary piano. Or have them sing the song to you. Or even tell you the note names that they play. There are many ways to get them to think about their music even when they are not sitting at the piano. If you want other ideas, just ask your child’s teacher for other ideas.

      You could also take a few minutes time to sit with them while they practice, especially when they practice at the piano. This will help them realize that you are there for support and enjoy hearing them practice and play. Have them show you or play for you what they learned in their last lesson. Your support and interest will be amazing for them.

      Tip #5: Ask yourself why you are enrolling your preschooler in lessons and be sure to communicate that to your child’s teacher.

      There are a multitude of reasons why you might want to enroll your child in piano lessons. And, without a doubt, piano lessons can help your child in a multitude of ways!

      preschool piano lessons

      But you do have to be honest with yourself about why you are enrolling them in music lessons. You’ll want your child to show interest in music. Otherwise, it will seem like a constant battle to engage them with their music and to even have fun at lessons! So, if music isn’t part of your regular routine, then your preschooler might not be that interested.

      Your child will generally show interest in music by singing songs they have learned, creating rhythmic patterns by hitting objects together, or dancing to a song they particularly enjoy. By engaging with them when they are making, listening to, and dancing to music, you are showing them that music is also a source of enjoyment for you, too!

      Also important to remember: if one of the main motivators is because you wish you had lessons when you were younger or that you regret that you stopped your lessons, then consider one of the other lesson formats mentioned above (like, the group lessons or the parent-child lessons). In any case, ask your teacher! Maybe they’d be willing to try a 2-on-1 lesson.

      Communication with your child’s piano teacher is key. You’ll want them to know your child’s likes and dislikes, as well. This can certainly help shape the lessons for your child.

      And with that, my readers, you now have 5 tips that you – the parents – can use to help your preschooler enjoy, progress, and succeed in their piano lessons. Don’t forget that you play a crucial role in the development – particularly in these first few years.

      Happy music making,

      Liz

      Liz Hepach

      Liz Hepach is the creator over at Modern Musical Parenting, where she creates all kinds of printables and games, specifically designed for parents who want to engage their children with music. She believes that all parents – regardless of their musical background – can have a profound impact on their own child musically. For more information of the multitude of ways you can engage your child musically, make sure to check out her blog or signup for the MMP newsletter and get access to all the free printables in the Resource Library.

      Halloween Song: Trick or Treat!

      halloween song trick or treating

      Are you looking for a new trick or treat Halloween Song that toddlers and preschoolers can sing? “We’re Going Trick or Treating” song is perfect for little kids to sing about the fun experience of trick or treating. Sung to the familiar tune, The Farmer in the Dell, you can learn the lyrics on this song sheet and even add additional lyrics that are more accurate to your child’s Halloween experience.

      Perhaps kids are going “trunk or treating” or they are “ringing lots of doorbells” or even “driving down the street” if they are trick or treating by driving through the neighborhood.

      You are sure to have lots of fun with this song! Kids can act out the different parts. You can even get dressed in the specific costume of the child… putting on a hat, pulling on the boots, sliding on the mask, etc. Be creative!

      We’re Going Trick or Treating Video

      This video will teach you the new Halloween song: Trick or Treat.

      We’re Going Trick or Treating Song Sheet

      Here is the free song sheet you can download.

      we're going trick or treating

      Get more fall and autumn songs for kids by checking out these two posts 15 Singable Autumn Songs for Preschoolers OR Imaginative Fall Songs for Preschoolers.

      Parents often wonder, “Can preschoolers play songs on the piano?” Check out this blog post to see how you can teach some fun and easy songs and games to your little one. And for even more fun fall preschool piano activities check out my Itsy Bitsy Spider Piano Activities and Games.

      15 singable autumn songs for preschoolers

      Join the Music Time Kid Community

      Join the Music Time Kid Community and get the FREE pdf, Autumn Songs for Preschoolers, plus lots of other free content to help teach music and piano to toddlers and preschoolers! Teaching music to little ones has never been easier!

      Autumn Songs PDF

      15 Easy to Sing Songs & Fingerplays

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        Fingers & Toes: Fun Kids Counting Songs

        fun kids counting songs

        “This little piggy went to market…This little piggy went home…” Wiggling tiny little toes is part of the joy of singing and playing with little children. We even joke about learning to count with fingers and toes. But really we do learn this way! Parents begin the process of teaching their children from the time they are babies! Let’s explore some fun kids counting songs.

        Why are Counting Songs Important?

        Kids learn through play. When they are having fun, they don’t even realize they are learning. So singing songs and reciting rhymes that involve counting help children learn while they are having fun. In this article we will highlight some of the early nursery rhymes and fun songs that parents and teachers can learn and teach to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. I guarantee they will love to sing and move to these fun counting songs.

        What are Some Counting to Five Songs?

        Let’s begin with your fingers. Kids learn to count to five first. One idea I like to share with parents is when you count to five using your fingers, count consistently. Start with your thumb and move to the pinky. These are the finger numbers for playing the piano, so always referring to thumb as finger number one, pointer finger as two, middle finger as three, ring finger as four, and pinky as five will help them later on if they begin taking piano lessons.

        There are lots and lots of Youtube variations of these songs. I will link some quality teaching versions so you don’t have to search for them! Personally, I like the less flashy entertainment kind of videos that kids like to watch because we want good teaching content… Ideas that teachers use to get the most out of teaching these songs. So watch these videos to the end. You get a lot of great ideas on HOW to sing these songs to kids so they are having fun and learning!

        Five Little Ducks

        Five little ducks counts backwards from five down to one. You can have your child keep track of how many ducks with their fingers which helps improve their fine motor skills. Or it is fun if you make some manipulatives like finger puppets to playact as you sing!

        five little ducks

        Five Little Ducks – Lyrics

        Five little ducks
        Went out one day
        Over the hills and far away
        Mother duck said
        “Quack, quack, quack, quack”
        But only four little ducks came back.


        Four little ducks
        Went out one day
        Over the hills and far away
        Mother duck said
        “Quack, quack, quack, quack.”
        But only three little ducks came back.


        Three little ducks
        Went out one day
        Over the hills and far away
        Mother duck said
        “Quack, quack, quack, quack.”
        But only two little ducks came back.



        Two little ducks
        Went out one day
        Over the hills and far away
        Mother duck said
        “Quack, quack, quack, quack.”
        But only one little duck came back.


        One little duck
        Went out one day
        Over the hills and far away
        Mother duck said
        “Quack, quack, quack, quack.”
        But none of the five little ducks came back.


        Sad mother duck
        Went out one day
        Over the hills and far away
        The sad mother duck said
        “Quack, quack, quack.”
        And all of the five little ducks came back.

        Five Little Ducks – VIDEO

        This video from Super Simple Songs demonstrates motions for this song! I also like how they count the number of ducks at the end of each verse. Talking about safety and mother duck’s concern for her little ducks is an additional teaching moment.


        Five Green and Speckled Frogs (or Five Little Frogs)

        Five Green and Speckled Frogs is similar to the Five Little Ducks song because it begins with 5 and counts backwards which is teaching subtraction.

        Five Green and Speckled Frogs – Lyrics

        FIVE green and speckled frogs
        Sat on a speckled log
        Eating some most delicious bugs
        Yum Yum.

        One jumped into the pool
        Where it was nice and cool
        Then there were FOUR (subtract one each verse) speckled frogs.
        Glug Glug.

        (Repeat song using the number four, then three, then two, then one, then no in place of FIVE)

        five green and speckled frogs counting song

        Five Green and Speckled Frogs – VIDEO

        This video has helpful instruction on how to teach this song at the end of the song.


        Alice the Camel

        alice the camel kids counting song lyrics

        Make a Camel Craft
        Make some fun camels using the number of humps your child wants! Fun activity!

        Alice the Camel – VIDEO


        Five Little Monkeys

        I love to allow kids to play with props to this little nursery rhyme. First of all, monkeys are so cute. Kids love to watch them! And jumping is fun! So get some monkey stuffed animals, finger puppets, or just print some monkeys out on paper that children (or you) can cut out! Kids will love jumping these monkeys all around!

        Five little monkeys kids counting song

        Fun Five Little Monkeys Craft Idea

        This craft is definitely for a little bit older kids, but it looks so fun!

        How to Teach “Five Little Monkeys” – VIDEO


        Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

        Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
        We’re going to the moon.
        Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
        We’re going to the moon.
        If you want to take a trip,
        Climb aboard my rocket ship.
        Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
        We’re going to the moon.
        5, 4, 3, 2, 1,
        Blast off!

        Zoom Zoom Zoom counting song for kids

        What are Some Count to 10 Songs?

        One Two Three Four Five

        One, two, three, four, five,
        Once I caught a fish alive,
        Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
        Then I let it go again.
        Why did you let it go?
        Because it bit my finger so.
        Which finger did it bite?
        This little finger on my right.

        fishing song with numbers

        10 Little Indians

        Ten Little Indians song is one of my favorite teaching songs because it very versatile. You can change the words to this song in numerous ways. And you can also count this song backwards. Here are the original song lyrics.

        One little, two little, three little Indians
        Four little, five little, six little Indians,
        Seven little, eight little, nine little Indians,
        Ten little Indian boys.

        lyrics for kids counting song

        Here are a few examples of how I change the song lyrics while keeping the number counting and the melody the same.

        Sing about FRIENDS… Ten little friends at the park or Ten little friends playing ball, etc.

        BUBBLES! Ten little bubbles go pop!

        BUGS! Ten little bugs fly away.

        LEAVES! Ten autumn leaves on the ground.

        RAINDROPS! Ten little raindrops on my head.

        SNOWFLAKES! Ten little snowflakes on my tongue.

        See what I mean? You can sing about practically anything! It’s fun to let children brainstorm and come up with ideas. They love to create and when kids are invested in their own learning, learning is so much fun!


        Ten in the Bed

        Imagine a crowded bed. What is on that bed? Tons of stuffed animals? Lots of friends having a sleep over? Or it’s a big, big family. No matter what you imagine is on the bed, you can collect 10 and reenact this song.

        10 in the bed lyrics
        Ten in the bed kids song counting to ten

        Early in the morning, kids are usually a little slow to get going. Having fun right at the start of the morning as you get your child ready for the day is so playful and fun. Singing and imaginative play gets the day started with lots of positive energy! If you start singing, your child might even sing along. They will definitely help you play by tossing some stuffed animals overboard to get from ten to one. And then get them back on the bed after the covers are all pulled up! What singing fun!

        How to Teach “Ten in the Bed” – VIDEO


        One Two Buckle My Shoe

        One, two,
        Buckle my shoe;
        Three, four,
        Knock at the door;
        Five, six,
        Pick up sticks;
        Seven, eight,
        Lay them straight:
        Nine, ten,
        A big fat hen;

        One two buckle my shoe counting song

        This Old Man

        This old man counting to 10 song

        Song with ASL Motions

        American Sign Language counting video. Wonderful way to teach kids counting to ten in American Sign Language.


        The Ants Go Marching

        the ants go marching counting song for kids

        Ants Finger Puppet Craft for Kids


        Other Fun Counting Songs

        Bell Horses

        I love teaching Bell Horses because there are other skills kids are learning besides counting, like ringing the bells while we sing the lyrics and then freezing (STOP!) while we count. You may have to demonstrate this, and actually teach the kids how to ring and freeze. It’s really a lot of fun to have them watch y ou and freeze when you freeze! If we are also marching while we sing and ring, we freeze that too! This is so much fun for kids and it requires that they pay attention.

        bell horses lyrics

        Bell Horses Ringing Demonstration – VIDEO

        Here is a short demonstration of how we ring the bells while we sing and FREEZE! (or stop ringing) while we count. I always encourage kids to march while we sing and FREEZE (no moving at all) while we count. I do however, encourage them to count their fingers if the bells are on their wrists… so technically that is moving, but it’s not moving their feet!


        Fingerplay Counting Activities

        Here is the Beehive

        Here is the Beehive is a counting rhyme that counts to five. It really doesn’t have a melody, but you could easily sing a sol-mi type of melody to the rhyme. This nursery rhyme is fun because at the end of the song you can buzzzzz….. and tickle a child under the chin with your fingers. Kids love little tickle rhymes and often beg for them over and over again.

        I also created a little bumble bee music activity /piano improvisation page for preschoolers. If you are interested in this little piano activity, or the DIY Mother’s Day piano activity I have created, follow the links on this page!

        here is the beehive kids counting song

        Here is the Beehive – VIDEO


        This Little Piggy

        While not an official counting song, “This Little Piggy” offers the opportunity for counting. There are other nursery rhymes that also can be adapted to counting as well. Once you get done wiggling the toes with the rhyme, go back and wiggle each toe and count: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

        this little piggy nursery rhyme with counting

        One Potato Two Potato

        one potato two potato

        One Potato Two Potatoes
        One potato two potatoes
        Three potatoes, four!
        Five potatoes, six potatoes
        Seven potatoes, more!


        To count to ten add:
        Eight potatoes, nine potatoes, ten potatoes all!


        Five Fat Sausages

        Five fat sausages sizzling in a pan,
        (Hold up five fingers)
        All of a sudden one went “BANG!”
        (Clap hands loudly)

        Four fat sausages sizzling in a pan,
        (Hold up four fingers)
        All of a sudden one went “BANG!”

        Three fat sausages sizzling in a pan,
        (Hold up three fingers)
        All of a sudden one went “BANG!”

        Two fat sausages sizzling in a pan,
        (Hold up two fingers)
        All of a sudden one went “BANG!”

        One fat sausage, sizzling in a pan,
        (Hold up one finger)
        All of a sudden it went “Bang!”
        And there were NO sausages left!
        (No fingers left up)

        five fat sausages counting nursery rhyme

        Other songs kids can add numbers to

        Finger Family Check out this link. While there is no actual counting in the song itself, it offers imagery that you can springboard from and then count the family members. Plus you use your hands, so counting is natural using fingers.

        Baa Baa Black Sheep This song offers counting, 1, 2, 3 for the very youngest of children. It’s also an easy song for kids to learn because it shares the same melody as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

        Mary Had a Little Lamb You can change the lyrics in this song to “Mary had some little lambs” and teach counting to various numbers of sheep.

        Conclusion

        I hope you find this list useful. Select your favorites and create some learning opportunities for your child.

        And while you are at it, grab my printable, “Counting Songs for Toddlers and Preschoolers”. In this printable you will find lyrics that you can use to help teach counting to your kids. Printables give parents and teachers confidence to teach these songs and will help you bring these songs to life! They encourage imagination, movement, motor skills, and so much more!

        Join the Music Time Kid Community and get a FREE copy of this downloadable Counting Songs Booklet!

        All of the songs from this blog post are included in the printable.

        Best Friends Forever: Preschool Friendship Activities for Kids

        Let’s explore preschool friendship activities and discuss how to foster friendship in your child’s life.

        How do you teach friendship to preschoolers?

        preschool friendship activities

        The best way to teach friendship to a preschooler is by modelling being a good friend to someone. By following their parents’ lead, preschoolers will see the benefit of making friends and learn what it means to be a good friend.

        Encourage your child to show love and kindness in the way they play with other children. Make sure you give them plenty of opportunities to form friendships by inviting friends over for playdates or going on excursions together as a family. Helping others is one of the best ways preschoolers can learn how to be a good friend, so make sure they know that kindness is contagious.

        Why is friendship important in early childhood?

        preschool friendship activities

        Young children may not have school friends if they do not go to preschool or daycare. So parents can encourage friendship building and help their child develop social skills by participating in other kinds of small groups and activities. Even kids with school friends benefit from these kind of activities away from school or daycare.

        Perhaps you are an at home parent, work at home parent, or a home educator. Maybe you are a preschool teacher, or work with preschoolers in any capacity. Whatever your situation is… as an adult around preschool kids, you have the opportunity to help them develop friendships and foster their social development.

        One of the most important things preschoolers need to learn is how to relate with others. Friendships are important because they help preschoolers feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, as well as give them the opportunity to explore their own identity.

        Friendship also helps children develop empathy skills which means that your preschooler may be more likely to share or play nice if he has friends around.

        Preschoolers need to learn that kindness is contagious.

        What are some ways preschoolers can show love and kindness?

        There are many ways preschoolers can show love and kindness to their friends. One way is by being compassionate–a preschooler may want a friend to feel better when they’re upset. They may offer a hug or share a toy.

        A preschooler may have difficulty sharing, but sharing something with a friend may be the thing that really helps a friend. It’s best if the child knows that it is temporary and the friend won’t keep the toy, but sharing the best one of his favorite toys or a snack really demonstrates love.

        preschool friendship activities are fun

        Another way preschoolers can show love and kindness is by being respectful of others’ feelings–if one preschooler likes what the other preschooler has, the first preschooler could ask if he/she can borrow it for awhile instead of taking it without permission. This can also be a difficult thing for a child to learn, but it is so beneficial in the long run in developing kindness.

        What makes a good friend in the early years?

        Preschool friendship activities are dependent upon the stages of play that toddlers progress through. Take a peek into the stages of play that toddlers go through in order to better understand how they form friendships. Toddler play can be divided into four stages that provide opportunities for parents and other caregivers to nurture age-appropriate skills: 

        Solitary Play

        The first stage of play (from a few months old to about 18 months old) is when one child plays alone. They do not want to interact with other children. They have a preference for toys that involve sound, lights, or things to mouth. They enjoy watching toys fall on the ground when they are playing with containers which have many different pieces in them (blocks, small dolls, toy cars). Babies and toddlers also like to play games where they can put things in containers and take them out again.

        Babies first start playing with toys alone.  They do not interact with other children.  They explore toys.

        Parallel Play

        When a child is 18 to 36 months old, he or she may be able to start playing with other children. They will not know how to play with other younger children very well. This is called parallel play. It can happen when two children are using the same toy or game and do not interact much with each other. When a child starts playing more often with others, he or she learns that it can be fun to pass things back and forth and see it’s a fun way to play together.

        Symbolic Play

        Symbolic play is when kids pretend that things are other things. For example, they might pretend that a basket of balls is apples from an imaginary tree. Kids this age usually do this around 3 or 4 years old. This way, the child can understand and communicate about the world around them better because of their basic symbolic concepts. Toys that are appropriate for this stage include baby dolls, stuffed animals, doctor kits, and dress-up clothes.

        preschool friendship activities

        Cooperative Play

        Cooperative play is when one or two children work together, and they pretend to do things that adults, family members, and children do in real life. One example of this is when all the children pick a situation to act out. For instance they may dress up in a fire fighter costume, get into a paper box fire engine, drive fast to an emergency, and put out a fire or save a kitten who couldn’t get down from a tree.

        Each child is unique and their age will dictate the type of fun activities they engage in. In addition to considering your toddler’s temperaments, it’s important that you also spend time playing with them because this teaches skills such as sharing and turn-taking which are integral for a successful social life later on.

        How do you nurture friendships for children?

        Model how to take turns and play with toys that build cooperation in preschoolers.

        Toddlers are in their own little world. Their social skills can be lacking and it is important for them to not only have an understanding of the way society works, but also make friends as they grow up. To help toddlers enjoy each other’s company more than just playing together or fighting over toys, parents can promote preschool friendship activities with a few steps that will improve toddler relationships with others: 

        -Find activities both kids like. Does your child’s friend play with legos or trains or mermaids? Find preschool activities that will help them develop into being good friends.

        -Give children the opportunity to make friends by taking your kids to places other children are. Story time at a local library or community family events are great places to meet people. You can set up play dates with potential playmates. If you see a child that your preschooler gets along with well, ask if they want to be friends!

        In order to nurture preschool friendships, it’s important that preschoolers are given plenty of opportunities to form friendships. Parents should remain positive and supportive of preschool friendships, while ensuring that preschoolers know the importance of being a good friend to others. I have to admit, my best friend from Kindergarten is still a good friend today. So these friendships may last a lifetime.

        Preschool friendship activities improve these social skills

        preschool friendship activities

        Sharing

        At the age of two, children might be willing to share a snack with their friends. However, by the time they’re three or four years old and have better grasp on how things work in society, many kids are not ready to part with what little resources they possess such as half a chocolate chip cookie because it means that there’s less for them. Kids might readily give up something like an outgrown toy but refuse when it’s something they really want for themselves. But if you take away one toy which they’re no longer interested in playing with and ask them about sharing again–they’ll likely agree!

        Cooperation

        Cooperation is an important skill that young children can start developing by as early as three and a half years old. This allows them to work with peers on common goals, such the building of towers or playing games where everyone has to participate. Cooperation empowers kids in two ways: it gives some leadership opportunities while other feel more comfortable following instructions from someone else’s lead – all depending on their personality type. This can be an opportunity for self-discovery!

        Manners

        Manners matter. Whether you’re at the dinner table, in a classroom full of kids and teachers, or just playing with friends. One of the most important things you can do for your child is teach them to say please and thank you when they ask for something. This will help them be polite and respectful, so that adults are happy to give them what they want.

        Practice manners by using stuffed animals to act out stories where one character is kind towards another. Keep it fun so that your children remember this lesson! If you see your child use a magic word like “thank you” then make sure to reward their good behavior by acknowledging them.

        Personal Space

        Some kids do not like to be close to other people. Other kids crawl into the laps of strangers. It is important to teach children about personal space. This is so they do not make other people feel uncomfortable.

        Create rules for the house that teach kids to respect other people’s personal space. If your child grabs things out of people’s hands or pushes when impatient, establish consequences. If your child climbs into the laps of acquaintances or stands too close to people while talking, use it as a teachable moment. Take your child aside and provide some coaching about personal space issues.

        toys that encourage friendship

        What are some preschool friendship activities that can improve social skills?

        -The preschool “show and tell” is a great activity to introduce kids to social skills.

        -Use a single toy and have preschoolers take turns playing with it.

        -Read friendship stories.

        -Encourage kids to help each other complete tasks, such as building towers out of blocks or putting away toys while teaching them about the process: “You put one block on top.”

        -Pretend play, which often involves cooperation or sharing resources with peers in the game can teach preschoolers valuable lessons about expressing feelings of empathy for others as well.

        -Encourage time together outside of school hours for preschool friends to do an extra curricular or hobby that you know both kids enjoy. For example, if two children love playing soccer together, plan a playdate at the nearby park and bring their gear!

        -Discuss the importance of kindness, empathy and manners with preschoolers.

        -Model these behaviors by being thoughtful about how your own words or actions might affect others. For example, if you want to talk on a phone call while grocery shopping but there is someone waiting for an aisle so they can buy their groceries, apologize that you need to continue your call and step aside so that they can move forward, or tell them you’ll be done in a moment.

        What are some creative toys that encourage preschooler friendship?

        Toddlers need ways to express themselves creatively. Creative activities like building with blocks or drawing can help toddlers develop social skills such as turn taking and sharing. Parents can encourage preschooler creativity by introducing new and different toys to their child’s play space like a shape sorter, small doll house or art supplies.

        Some toys that I recommend that you can use to create friendship themed activities to help preschoolers learn with a friend:

        Musical Instrument Sets

        Duplo Blocks

        Basic Wooden Blocks

        Play-Doh

        Stuffed Animals

        friendship activities that promote sharing

        Ideas for preschool friendship activities

        There are lots of fun things preschool children can do together. These are just a few ideas to get you going:

        Pretend Play

        Provide opportunities for pretending with puppets, dress up clothes, boxes that can become rocket ships, trucks, rooms, and more.

        Music

        Sing, dance or play musical instruments together. Find ways to help one another and be a good friend

        Show and Tell

        Each child gets to show the other children something. This is a chance for each child to practice good social skills. Be sure and have enough things for everyone so no one will feel left out if they forget their favorite toy or book.

        Arts & Crafts

        Make art projects together like finger paint, coloring and drawing, and other messy and fun activities.

        Tea Party

        Share snacks or meals in the same chair so that you’re sitting side by side.

        Indoor Picnic

        Invite friends over for an indoor picnic. Pack sandwiches in a picnic basket and set the table ware on a blanket.

        Cooperative Games

        Play cooperative games like tag, hide and seek, patty cake, scavenger hunt, and musical chairs.


        Fun ways to celebrate friendship and plan a friendship theme party at home

        If you plan a friendship preschool theme party you can let children decorate and plan the preschool friendship activities for the party. Ideas to include:

        friendship bracelets

        Let children cut and color squares to make a friendship quilt. This can be done with construction paper and papers can be taped to the wall.

        Sing favorite songs and use fun songs with actions to dance and have fun!

        Literacy activities include reading friendship stories and picture books like:

        Encourage play that requires cooperation like building blocks, racing through an obstacle course, or a scavenger hunt.

        What happens if preschool friends argue with one another?

        If your preschool friend is mad at you, it’s important to understand that preschoolers are still developing their understanding of feelings. The best way to deal with this is by listening and trying not to interrupt or argue back.

        – make up games like “let’s forget about the argument”

        – brainstorm ways they could be friends again

        – say sorry first so your preschool friend knows you’re sorry too

        – take turns and be the first to say something nice

        – try a hug again when preschool friends are mad at each other.

        These don’t always work, but they can help.

        What if preschoolers feel lonely?

        Feeling lonely is very normal for preschool children, so it’s important that we help them know they’re not alone. Reassure preschoolers that they are loved and cared for, by making time to be with them or doing a special activity just the two of you can do together.

        What happens when a child loses a friend because families move or a loved one dies?

        This can be a very difficult time for friends, and it may take them a while to adjust. Encourage your child by being sensitive about their feelings. Kids might not always want to talk about these feelings. Offer support when needed. Make sure you’re there for the child if he or she needs someone to listen to them.

        I recently had a young friend move. He was four years old. He had been in my early childhood preschool music classes since he was a baby. We were both sad (and happy) and his move. So I wrote this song about friendship and moving. I find music is the universal language and speaks that to which there are no words. I hope this song helps you if you ever find yourself in this position too.

        Conclusion

        A preschooler’s friendships will grow and change throughout their preschool years. It is important for a preschooler to have friends. Help them get friends by being a good friend too – be kind, helpful, generous, and forgiving of others. Have fun together as much as you can! What your friends should know is that they are growing and changing with time.

        Resource for Parents

        I love finding resources to help me in my parenting journey. This book may be helpful if you are looking for ideas in raising kids who are kind and respectful to others.

        Note: Some links in this post may contain affiliate links which means if you make a purchase through the link, I may make a small commission at no extra expense to you. Thank you for supporting my blog.

        50 Gentle Sleeping Songs for Kids

        50+ recordings for parents and kids

        sleeping songs for kids

        Children have busy lives and often have difficulty calming their minds to fall asleep. Music is so very beneficial to help kids relax and go to sleep. There are lots of music videos available, but maybe you noticed that they all sound the same?

        As an early childhood educator, I love to curate amazing music. I know it is hard to find gentle songs that have beautiful melodies and orchestration. Everything seems to sound the same.

        This article will provide you with over 50 Youtube recordings you’ve probably ever heard before that you can use to build personalized content for your kids. If there is an Amazon link, I will also provide that in case you want to build a playlist on your device that is not contingent upon being online.

        Enjoy these gentle sleeping songs for kids!

        (Note: There may be affiliate links which means if you make a purchase through my link, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps support my blog… Thank you!)

        Calm Kid Music for Parents (One Hour)

        From my Music Time Kid Youtube channel and Post “What are Lullabies that Calm and Put Your Baby to Sleep“.

        Peaceful Music for Sleep 30 minutes

        Beautiful View of the Night Sky with Relaxing Music Sounds

        Peaceful Autumn Forest Piano Relaxing Music for Sleep

        Tuck Me Into Bed

        Afro Cuban Lullaby (with Nature Sounds)

        Afro Cuban Lullaby by Richard Patterson, guitar

        Clair de Lune

        Clair de Lune by Debussy, performed by Amy Turk, harp

        Zelda’s Lullaby (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

        Zelda’s Lullaby by Amy Turk, harp

        Winnie the Pooh

        Winnie the Pooh Theme Song, arranged and performed by kno

        Give Me Your Hand / La Valse Pour Les Petites Jeunes Filles

        Give Me Your Hand by George Winston, piano

        How to Train Your Dragon – Romantic Flight

        Romantic Flight from How to Train Your Dragon, performed by Beyond the Guitar

        Listen, The Flute Sighs Again (Hungary)

        Listen, the Flute Sighs Again from the Album, Les Berceuses de Coline by Nadia Birkenstock, harp

        Staring at the Moon

        Staring at the Moon (from the Album, Hush Little Baby) by Lullaby Music

        A La Source

        A La Source from the Album, Whispering Woods – Celtic Harp Solos by Nadia Birkenstock, harp

        Thanks A Lot

        Thanks A Lot by Raffi mp3

        Remember Me

        Remember Me (lullaby version) from Coco, performed by Beyond the Guitar

        No Ke Ano Ahiahi

        No Ke Ano Ahiahi (traditional Hawaiian song) performed by George Winston, piano

        Gold Dream

        Gold Dream from the Album Lullaby Africa

        Skye Boat Song

        Skye Boat Song from the Album, Lullaby Baby, Vol .2

        Annie’s Song

        Annie’s Song by John Denver, performed on harp by Jodi Ann Tolman

        3 Beautiful Dreamworks Themes on Guitar

        3 Beautiful Dreamworks Themes on Guitar, performed by Beyond the Guitar

        Beauty and the Beast

        Beauty and the Beast by Alan Menken, performed by Amy Turk, harp

        Dearly Beloved

        Dearly Beloved (from Kingdom Hearts) performed by Beyond the Guitar

        Lullaby Land

        Lullaby Land performed by Linda Arnold

        Wildflowers

        Wildflowers (from the Album Unveiled) Stanton Lanier, piano

        This Little Light of Mine

        This Little Light of Mine by Elizabeth Mitchell mp3

        Narnia Lullaby – native american meditation flute (Indianerflöte)

        Beethoven Moonlight Sonata

        Beethoven Moonlight Sonata lullaby version from the Album, Classical Lullabies by The Kiboomers

        Pachelbel’s Canon in D

        Pachelbel’s Canon in D

        Dream (Hush, Little Baby)

        Baby Mine

        Baby Mine (from Dumbo) Cherish Tuttle, piano

        Take Me Home, Country Roads

        Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver, performed by Beyond the Guitar

        The Cradle

        The Cradle (from the Album Forest), George Winston, piano

        Goodnight Irene

        Goodnight Irene by Elizabeth Mitchell mp3

        A Beautiful Thing

        A Beautiful Thing (from the Album, So Loved) Stanton Lanier, piano

        Rainbow Connection

        Rainbow Connection (from the Album Disney Lullaby & Goodnight)

        All the Pretty Horses

        All the Pretty Horses performed by Linda Arnold

        Lullaby Flute Song

        Lullaby Flute Song from the Album, Native Moon by Sleep Tribe

        Gymnopedie No. 1

        Gymnopedie No. 1 by Satie, performed by Amy Turk, harp

        Slack Key Lullabye

        Slack Key Lullabye by Ledward Ka’apana

        You’ll Be in My Heart

        You’ll Be in My Heart (from the Album Disney Lullaby & Goodnight)

        Japanese Music Box (Itsuki No Komoriuta)

        Japanese Music Box (from the Album, Forest) George Winston, piano

        Prelude No. 1 in C Major BWV 846 by J. S. Bach

        J.S. Bach Prelude No. 1 in C Major BWV 846, performed by Amy Turk, harp

        Kumbaya

        Kumbaya by Susie Tallman

        Blackwood Lullabye

        Water Dance

        Water Dance by Raffi mp3

        Greensleeves

        Greensleeves

        Brahm’s Lullaby

        Brahm’s Lullaby, harp by Jodi Ann Tolman

        Sunshine on My Shoulders

        Sunshine on My Shoulders by John Denver, performed on harp by Jodi Ann Tolman

        Morning Has Broken

        Morning Has Broken (from the Album Disney Lullaby & Goodnight)

        Suo Gan

        Suo Gan performed on harp by Jodi Ann Tolman

        All Through the Night

        All Through the Night performed by Linda Arnold

        Love Me Tender

        Love Me Tender (from the Album Disney Lullaby & Goodnight)

        When You Wish Upon a Star

        When You Wish Upon a Star, Dave Niskin, guitar

        A River Flows in You

        A River Flows in You by Yiruma, performed on harp by Jodi Ann Tolman

        Goodnight

        Goodnight performed by Linda Arnold

        The Rising Moon (Germany)

        The Rising Moon from the Album, Les Berceuses de Coline by Nadia Birkenstock, harp

        Song of Time (Music from the Legend of Zelda – Full Album)

        Song of Time Complete Album performed by Amy Turk, harp

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