Hi, Music Time Kids!

Music Time Kids

Looking good! You are ready to return to the verification page and complete the process.

Go To Board

Happy Pinning!

©2019 Pinterest, Inc.| All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions

Parenting Ideas

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

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

Join the Music Time Kid
Community and get this

FREE PDF
20 Action Songs for Kids
PLUS!
Kids’ Collectable Cards!

Preschool Songs with Actions Boost Brain-Body Connection

Preschool songs with actions have the ability to boost kids’ brain-body connection. And this is an important part of child development! Let’s explore what it is, why it is important and then get to the action songs you can use to boost the brain-body connection with your toddler or preschooler.

What is the mind-body connection?

songs with actions boost brain-body connection

John Hopkins Medicine has a wonderful article on the connection of the mind and body. You can read more details about that here.
For the sake of this article, I want to quote these ideas from the article, “Mind-Body Connection is the belief that the causes, development and outcomes of a physical illness are determined from the interaction of psychological, social factors and biological factors.

Your emotional health includes:
– your overall psychological well-being;
– your feelings about yourself;
– the quality of your relationships, at work and at home;
– your ability to create and use positive coping skills;
– your ability to manage your feelings.

Emotional health can be affected by the stress from both good and bad… It also can be affected by daily routines…”

Family life is very significant for young children. Making music together as a family can really have a positive impact on the emotional well-being of children. In fact, you’d be surprised how much making music together as a family impacts the emotional well-being of adults, too!

Why is mind-body connection important for young children?

Music and movement are both things that directly relate to children’s overall well-being. They both provide creative ways to relieve excess energy, as well as express and manage feelings. While music alone can help soothe or uplift children, the ability to move with music gives kids a positive way to express themselves. When kids sing movement songs they feel good about themselves and for a while they may escape things in their life that negatively impact them.

preschool songs with actions benefits

Here is an article that lists 12 benefits action songs have for kids.

The last four benefits all have to do with emotional wellness: foster self esteem and confidence, encourage creativity, adaptability, and imagination, promote social skills and cooperation, engage children and adults in bonding activities.

Here is another article that lists 15 Benefits of Music on Kids Health.

Action songs that encourage mind-body wellness

I recommend these action songs because they are kids’ favorite songs. They love to sing them over and over and over and that is okay! That is how kids learn. In fact, preschoolers love these songs so much that teachers and parents rarely look further for new material. While I also love the tried and true familiar tunes of childhood, I also like to find more imaginative and creative activities for preschoolers (but that is another post!)

These songs help kids with awareness of body parts, learning right and left, clapping hands, stomping feet, moving arms, dancing, hopping, and so much more. Kids will be having a blast with these movements they won’t even know they are learning!

To help you teach this music, I am offering you a free pdf download of these songs. I am also including printable song cards that you can use with your preschooler. As you learn a new song, you can reward your child with a card that they can display or collect. Children are very proud of themselves as they earn these cards. If you are a classroom teacher or daycare provider, you can post each card on the wall as a new song is learned.

I love to make the most of every teaching experience, so whether you are a parent at home or a preschool teacher, I hope you will find the information in the rest of this blog post, links, enrichment ideas, and videos helpful. I am sure your toddler or preschooler will love this music!

songs with actions pdf

Movement Songs Lyrics for Preschoolers

20 Songs that ENCOURAGE movement and help toddlers and preschoolers develop Brain-Body Connection

Get this Freebie TODAY!

PLUS! You will get the printable,
Baby Animal
collector song cards!


20 Songs with Actions Kids Love!

Help your child with the motions by asking them to do them before you sing the song, and take time as you sing to show them how to do the motions. Kids love to move. They may have trouble at first holding up one finger or one thumb, but they will eventually figure it out. Get out the musical instruments, too! Kids will have so much fun!

If You’re Happy and You Know It

If You're Happy and You Know It Action Song

IF YOU’RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT LYRICS
if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap, clap)
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap, clap)
If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.
(point to your smile)
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap, clap)

with each additional verse add one new motion to the front of all the actions
If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet. (stomp, stomp)
If you’re happy and you know it, turn around. (turn around)
If you’re happy and you know it, shout “HOORAY”

Head Shoulders Knees and Toes

Head shoulders knees and toes actions

HEAD SHOULDERS KNEES AND TOES LYRICS

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes,
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes,
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose,
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

itsy bitsy spider

THE ITSY BITSY SPIDER LYRICS
The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.
And the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.

The Hokey-Pokey

hokey pokey action song

HOKEY-POKEY LYRICS

You put your right foot in
You take your right foot out
You put your right foot in
And you shake it all about
You do the hokey pokey
And you turn yourself around
That’s what it’s all about

Sing the song again hanging “right foot” to left foot, and then right hand, left hand, head, and whole self respectively.

Open Shut Them

open shut them

OPEN SHUT THEM LYRICS
Open, shut them. Open, shut them. (open, close hands)
Give a little clap. (clap, clap)
Open, shut them. Open, shut them.
Lay them in your lap. (fold hands in your lap)
Creep them, crawl them, creep them, crawl them,
(crawl fingers up your arm to your mouth)
Right up to your chin.
Open wide your little mouth, (open mouth)
But do not put them in. (quickly run fingers back down arm)

I’m a Little Teapot

I'm a little Teapot action song

I’M A LITTLE TEAPOT LYRICS

I’m a little teapot, short and stout.
Here is my handle, here is my spout .
When I get all steamed up hear me shout
“Tip me over and pour me out!”

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear Teddy Bear song

TEDDY BEAR, TEDDY BEAR LYRICS

Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Turn around!
Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Touch the ground!
Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Jump up high!
Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Touch the sky!
Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Bend down low!
Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Touch you toes!
Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Turn out the light!
Teddy bear, teddy bear,
Say good night!

Wheels on the Bus

The Wheels on the Bus movement song

WHEELS ON THE BUS LYRICS

The wheels on the bus go round and round,
Round and round, round and round.
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
All through the town.
The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep…
The doors on the bus go open and shut…
The windows on the bus go up and down…
The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish…
The babies on the bus go wah, wah, wah…
The parents on the bus go “Shhhh, shhhh, shhhh”…

Looby-Loo

Looby Loo Music with actions

LOOBY-LOO LYRICS

Here we go looby loo.
Here we go looby light.
Here we go looby loo.
All on a Saturday night.
You put your right hand in.
You take your right hand out.
You give your hand a shake, shake, shake.
And turn yourself about.

Each verse changes the body part you put in: right hand, left hand, right foot, left foot, head, whole body.

Where is Thumbkin

Where is Thumbkin music and movement

WHERE IS THUMBKIN LYRICS

Where is thumbkin?
Where is thumbkin?
Here I am (bring out one thumb)
Here I am (bring out the other thumb)
How are you today sir?
(make thumb talk to other thumb when singing that line)
Very well, I thank you (and vice versa with this thumb)
Run away (put one thumb back behind your back)
Run away (put the other thumb back behind your back)
Additional verses:
Where is pointer…
Where is tall man…
Where is ring man…
Where is pinky

Bell Horses

Action songs bell horses

BELL HORSES LYRICS

Bell horses, bell horses
what’s the time of day?
One o’clock, two o’clock
time to go away. (repeat)

One, two, three, four
Jingle; jingle, jingle more
Five, six, seven, eight
Jingle, jingle don’t be late. (repeat)

Bell horses, bell horses
what’s the time of day?
One o’clock, two o’clock
time to go away. (repeat)

Mulberry Bush

actions songs mulberry bush

MULBERRY BUSH LYRICS

Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush.
Here we go round the mulberry bush
On a cold and frosty morning.

The is the Way

This is the way movement song

THIS IS THE WAY LYRICS

sung to the same tune as The Mulberry Bush

This is the way we clap our hands,
clap our hands, clap our hands,
This is the way we clap our hands,
All day long.

repeat with other motions like stomp our feet, touch our nose, etc.

Ring Around the Rosie

ring around the rosie action song

RING AROUND THE ROSIE LYRICS

Ring around the rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down

Pop! Goes the Weasel

action songs pop goes the weasel

POP! GOES THE WEASEL LYRICS

All around the mulberry bush
The monkey chased the weasel
The monkey thought it was all in good fun
Pop! goes the weasel.

A penny for a spool of thread
A penny for a needle
That’s the way the money goes
Pop! goes the weasel.

Do Your Ears Hang Low?

do your ears hang low song

DO YOUR EARS HANG LOW LYRICS

Do your ears hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie ’em in a knot?
Can you tie ’em in a bow?
Can you throw ’em o’er your shoulder
Like a Continental soldier
Do your ears hang low?

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

row row row your boat movement

ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT LYRICS

(have child sit facing you and gently pull their hands towards you and away from you like you’re rowing)

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.

Five Green and Speckled Frogs

five green and speckled frogs finger play

FIVE GREEN AND SPECKLED FROGS LYRICS

Five Green and Speckled Frogs
Five green and speckled frogs, sitting on a speckled log
(hold up five fingers)
Eating some most delicious bugs… yum, yum!
(rub stomach)
One jumped into the pool, where it was nice and cool
(make one finger jump and move down)
Now there are four speckled frogs…..
(hold up four fingers)
Four green and speckled frogs…
Three green and speckled frogs…
Two green and speckled frogs…
One green and speckled frog, sitting on a speckled log
Eating some most delicious bugs… yum, yum!
One jumped into the pool, where it was nice and cool
Now there are no g

B-I-N-G-O

bingo clap song

BINGO LYRICS
(Clap when you see *)

There was a farmer had a dog
And Bingo was his name-oh.
B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O,
And Bingo was his name-oh.

There was a farmer had a dog
And Bingo was his name-oh.
*-I-N-G-O, *-I-N-G-O, *-I-N-G-O,
and Bingo was his name-oh.

Continue removing one letter
*-*-N-G-O
*-*-*-G-O
*-*-*-*-O
*-*-*-*-
*–8

Did You Ever See a Lassie?

did you ever see a lassie

DID YOU EVER SEE A LASSIE LYRICS

Did you ever see a lassie,
A lassie, a lassie?
Did you ever see a lassie,
Go this way and that?
Go this way and that way,
Go this way and that way.
Did you ever see a lassie,
Go this way and that?
Did you ever see a laddie,
A laddie, a laddie?
Did you ever see a laddie,
Go this way and that?
Go this way and that way,
Go this way and that way.
Did you ever see a laddie,
Go this way and that?


Kids Activities You Can Use with an Action Song

Whenever possible I like to “extend the lesson” with kids activities and get the most mileage out of teaching each and every song. So I want to share more ideas on how you can teach more learning concepts at the same time.

Musical Instruments

Whenever possible use some musical instruments! Kids love to dance and ring bells, shake maracas or tambourines, or play a drum.

Puppets

Finger puppets and larger hand size puppets encourage the imagination and make play time even more fun. You will find many illustrated story-song books in the public library that a puppet can sing to a toddler or preschooler. (hint: even bigger kids love puppets!)

Stuffed Animals

I love using stuffed animals while singing with kids. It’s hard for them to sit still. So holding an animal gives their fingers something to do. I often bounce a stuffed animal to the beat of the song. While they watch me, of course, kids will copy what I am doing and this helps them learn to feel a steady beat.

Props

Build a prop box that can accompany a short music time. Kids love to play pretend. Hats, costumes, jackets, coats, boots, scarves, etc. all make music time more interesting. Toddler songs are filled with easy repetitive words and acting those words out with props is definitely fun child play.

Story Books

Like I mentioned, there are numerous illustrators who have created beautiful picture books using these familiar children’s melodies. You can not only sing as you turn the pages, but go back and really look at the pictures. Increase your child’s vocabulary by talking about the pictures. Is that monkey hopping? jumping? dancing? singing? wiggling? Use descriptive words as you look at the pages.

More Songs with Actions that I Love!

There is so much great action music available for kids these days. Here are more wonderful action songs that are less familiar. For these movement songs I will provide Youtube links so you can add them to your playlist. These are fun songs that I regularly include in early childhood music classes or preschool classes I teach at a daycare. I often use musical instruments along with motions so go ahead and add a few. Kids love them!

Everybody clap your hands

Tap it on your head

Shake my sillies out

Bunny hop

Roly poly

One little finger

Egg shakin’ blues

Peekaboo by super simple songs

Wake up toes

music and movement

Free PDF

Action Songs for Preschoolers

20 Songs that ENCOURAGE movement and help toddlers and preschoolers develop Brain-Body Connection

Get this Freebie TODAY!

PLUS! You will get the printable,
Baby Animals
collector song cards!

Imaginative Fall Songs for Preschoolers

imaginative fall songs for prescoholers

Fall songs for preschoolers that are imaginative and not “more cute fall songs” that are focused on leaves, pumpkins, scarecrows, squirrels, or an apple tree.

Imaginative music is music you can use alongside other autumn songs to spark kids’ creativity. Use these songs with story books, puppets, crafts, and other toys. Create actions and movement as you play the music. Your preschoolers will love this!

Use your imagination

fall songs for preschoolers

Sometimes we can get into a rut of spoon feeding everything to children. So I strive to help kids develop their creativity and use their imaginations. It’s kind of obvious that fall is about falling leaves, orange pumpkins, grey squirrels, apple songs, and singing a little scarecrow song. So instead of singing these cutesy songs, let’s create music and listen to music that gets us to use our imaginations and think “about” these ideas.

Let’s find music that get us to imagine a train ride in the fall countryside, or a river flowing along a mountain, or climbing up on a big boulder. Can you see the leaves change color? Brown. Yellow. Red. The seasons are around us as we adventure outside!

The songs below will help you put a fresh spin and enrich your fall activities. In addition, I will link to quality books and other crafts that I find for fun learning extensions, that you can use with these songs.

Preschoolers learn as they play, sing, read, dance, ceate, imagine, and more. See how many activities you can create with this autumn music! Leave me a comment below if you are glad you found this blog post and it helped you!

Create opportunities to move and dance

Music can change the atmosphere in your home. Music can bring more joy into your everyday. Play music in the morning when your own kids are waking up and see what a difference it makes to the beginning of the day. Sometimes when I look for songs for kids, I find that the music is really almost more “songs for parents” because it really uplifts their energy and mood, too!

Moving to music in the morning is especially appealing to young children and playing great music also provides more benefits for kids than you can imagine.

autumn leaves fall songs

Preschool teachers and daycare providers can play these songs in the background, or use one during circle time or craft time.

Disclaimer: Some links in this blog post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through my link, I may make a small commission at no extra expense to you. This helps support my blog. Thank you!

Autumn Tree Songs

I Had a Little Nut Tree

Instead of singing an apple tree song, try this little nut tree by Lisa Loeb. You can bring a little squirrel into the picture by imagining a squirrel busily looking for, finding, and picking up acorns to stash in winter hideaways. How many little acorns can he find? Wonderful circle time song!

Autumn Songs Tree Activities

This fall scavenger hunt by Teaching Mama is a wonderful resource to go outside and find some autumn leaves, nut trees, and other pieces of autumn nature!

Here is a counting with acorns activity by Play and Learn Every Day.

Fall Leaves In and Out Activity by Still Playing School is a wonderful activity that shouldn’t require that you purchase anything at all. Re-use a diaper wipe container and collect pretty leaves. Great for preschool education on a budget!

Fall Leaves Quiet Book Page by Teach Me Mommy uses felt, pipe cleaners, scissors and glue. This is a nice craft for developing fine motor skills.

A thankful tree printable by Teaching Mama is also wonderful to extend fall into the thanksgiving season.

Here We Go Around the Mulberry Bush

So a bush isn’t exactly a tree, but they can grow very big and some bushes have amazing fall colors! Of course this music is great for movement and you can imagine a different kind of bush, like a burning bush whose leaves turn bright orange, yellow red and brown in the fall.

Leaf Little Leaf

Leaf Little Leaf is by Music Box Kids. I love to use a scarf with this music. I really believe kids learn best with motion, so taking a scarf, lifting it high, and letting it drop to the ground shows children how leaves are falling down.

Thankful Songs for Fall

Thanks Alot

Raffi does such an amazing job weaving the imagery of the outdoors into his music. He sings about the clouds, sky, wind, birds, moon, stars, and more. While there are many challenges in life, there is always so many things to be thankful for. “Thanks Alot” pairs well with the thankful tree printable mentioned above.

Thanksgiving Song

Autumn Dance Songs

Music and movement are so important for kids’ development. Here are some great ideas for fall!

Hey Bo Diddley

by Elizabeth Mitchell

Hey Bo Diddley is based on the tune and lyrics from the “Mockingbird” lullaby. This music just puts you into a good mood! Be sure to put some shakers into your kids hands as they move to the beat!

Jumping Jack

by Laurie Berkner

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Extra motions in this version of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes by The Learning Station will literally keep kids on their toes! Make sure to practice the beginning part… knocking on a door, come in, open the door, and take a big spin, slap your heels and slap your knees. This song will especially appeal to preschool kids who love a movement challenge!

Parents and teachers can turn this into a fall song by becoming a scarecrow or dressing up like a farmer who is harvesting his field of pumpkins!

My Happy Song

by Super Simple Songs

Action Songs for Fall

Action songs for toddlers and preschoolers. Children pretend to fly, climb, become animals, and so much more.

Muscle and Bone

Wonderfully imaginative lyrics about rivers, mountains, boulders, etc.

Simon Says

Hop, Skip, Jump to My Lou

I Dreamed that I Could Fly

Autumn Animal and Insect Songs

Fall is a wonderful time to teach about life cycles. Insects move slower and kids may notice little fuzzy caterpillars looking for a place to build a cocoon. This life cycle page by Preschool Inspirations has printables that you may find useful.

Five Little Caterpillars

Five little…. basically anything you want to sing about. I love to think of little fuzzy caterpillars for this fall song. This is definitely one of many fun kids counting songs!

Bunny Hop

Why should we only sing the “Grey Squirrel Song” in the fall while other animals are busy preparing for winter as well? Many animals get ready for their long winter hibernation. Bunny hops around preparing his nest for winter! Get ready to wiggle your ears, nose, paws, and little cotton tail!

Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta-Boo

Filled with zany nonsensical lyrics, let’s take a field trip to the zoo this fall. While I am sure this song won’t make it into anyone else’s autumn songs list, I hope you see the value of music that can spark the imagination of a child!

Autumn Forest Puppets

Music and Movement Song for Fall

Play Your Instruments

Play Your Instruments by Ella Jenkins is a song I sing at every single early childhood class I teach. It’s one of my fall songs, winter songs, spring songs, and summer songs. You can definitely have more autumny vibes by making some of your own homemade instruments like paper bag maracas or percussion instruments that have fall colors (make sure anything you make is safe and age appropriate for your child).

Clickety Clack

Train Song by Katherine Dines in like a story. The train goes faster and slower! You can imagine watching all the autumn leaves out the window. I don’t know about you, but hearing the banjo playing just puts me in the mood for a fall barn dance.

I’m on a Train

Cocomelon is a wonderful child-friendly youtube channel. “I’m on a Train” music video demonstrates so much of the teaching I like to do with kids. They take the melody and lyrics from a familiar song (Down By the Bay) and re-purpose the song into something new… a train song! Plus, the video shows how you can take a cardboard box and turn it into a train. Brilliant!

Everyone knows that there can be hundreds of dollars of toys in a room and kids will always gravitate to the empty box.. everytime! It time to take a train ride while the autumn leaves are falling to the ground!

More Ideas and Activities for Fall

Autumn Songs Sensory Ideas

This fall sensory bottle by Preschool Inspirations is fun for preschool children to make. Sensory bottles help kids focus and keep their fingers busy when their bodies need to sit still.

Fall Nature I Spy Bottle by MamaPapaBubba gives kids a chance to collect actual autumn nature items and put it into their “I Spy” bottle. This is a great activity that can even be adapted to different seasons.

Fall Fine Motor Play-Dough Ideas

This fall play-doh activity by Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails is sure to keep little fingers for a ling time. Like the I Spy bottle above, this play-doh activity can easily be adapted to different holidays and seasons.

Hot Cross Buns Play-Doh Activity is fine motor activity that I created to help preschoolers wiggle fingers and develop five fingers strength for beginning piano lessons. There is a free pdf download in the link.

Autumn Songs Train Ideas

This alphabet activity with train tracks from Teaching Mama is a wonderful extension for your fall train ride.

Food Preschool Fall Songs

Oats and Beans and Barley Grow

Let the Autumn harvest begin!

Mashed Potatoes

Autumn evokes the thoughts of cooler weather, leaves falling, and warmer comfort foods. One of the iconic stables of the Thanksgiving meal is mashed potatoes.

Apples and Bananas

I guess you had to figure I would get one apple song in this list! Apples and Bananas by Raffi is one of my favorites and is a great introduction to talking about vowels. Here is a link to many different apples and bananas worksheets at Teachers Pay Teachers. And here is an apples and bananas count page offered by Super Simple.

Coconut

Coconut by Raffi is a really spirited “dance with me” song. I told my husband it is a stretch including it in my autumn song list because living in the northern parts of the USA, we don’t have coconut harvests. But I am thinking coconuts are harvested in other parts of the world, and my husband reminded me… sometimes coconuts “fall!”

Coconut Books to use with Autumn Songs

Disclaimer: Some links in this blog post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through my link, I may make a small commission at no extra expense to you. This helps support my blog. Thank you!

15 autumn songs for preschoolers
15 Printable Autumn Songs for Preschoolers with teaching tips and great ideas to get the most from singing these songs!

If you are interested in the apple and pumpkin songs, check out my blog post Autumn Songs for Preschoolers. I have a FREE PDF Download with 15 songs and lots of teaching tips and ideas to get the most from singing these songs with preschoolers.
Songs include:
Autumn Leaves are Falling Down
Falling Leaves
Autumn Leaves
Leaves are Falling Down
Crunchy Leaves
The Apple Tree Song
10 Little Spiders
Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
Apple Pie Song
Five Little Pumpkins
Pumpkin Patch Song
A Little Pumpkin with a Frown
The Grey Squirrel Song
Five Little Bunnies

Autumn Songs PDF

15 Easy to Sing Songs & Fingerplays

Get your Autumn Song PDF’s here!

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Conclusion

    I’d love to hear from you. Let me know if you liked my fall songs collection that inspire kids to use their imaginations. I hope you find this blog post thoughtful and useful!

    Practice Chart: Piano Preschool Lessons

    Discover how having the right practice chart for piano can turn kids who are bored into kids who love to play piano!

    Kids love music! And preschoolers are eager little students who love the fun activities in piano lessons. But practicing at home can be a struggle for a few reasons:

    Frog Theme Practice Chart for Piano

    1. Parents are unsure what their child should do in practice
    2. Parents may not be prepared for how much energy at home practice requires from them.
    3. Kids may love the piano, but practicing at home can be a challenge if their only assignment is to play one or two songs over and over again. Kids want to have fun at the piano every day!

    So learning how to make practice at home interesting, fun, challenging, and rewarding week after week takes effort on the parents’ part. Together kids and parents can find a way to mark progress in their daily practice and enjoy the process of making music.

    practicing piano

    Piano Lessons for Preschoolers

    Teachers of preschoolers have to have a different approach and teach them differently than they teach an 8 year old beginning piano student. A preschooler’s attention span is approximately the number of minutes for how many years old they are. So a 3 year old has a three minute attention span, a 4 year old has a 4 minute attention span, and a 5 year old has a 5 minute attention span. There are always exceptions to the rule, or one amazing activity that transfixes a child for 10 minutes, but generally these young kids need LOTS of activities that reinforce the simple concepts they are learning. And teachers need an arsenal of activities!

    Repetition

    Preschoolers need a lot of repetition. There are now method books for young piano students as young as 3 or 4 years old. However, the mistake I see over and over again is that parents and teachers expect preschoolers to learn musical concepts the first time they are taught. Afterall, that is how older kids learn. But preschoolers are different. They need multiple layers of learning the same concepts. And that is why I teach outside the box of method books to little ones. You can too! So how do we do this?

    Find as many teaching resources as possible and add them to lessons. It’s okay with me if these resources all come from different places. I really haven’t found just one company, teacher, or website that has it all. The good news… I am curating a lot of great materials for you. AND I am creating content that fills many missing holes. You can benefit from all that I have learned over the years.

    preschool piano activity
    preschool piano game for practice at home
    preschool piano practice activity
    preschool piano finger game for piano practice

    Activities

    Preschoolers learn through movement. So kids need lots of body movement and gross motor skill activities as they develop the fine motor skills needed for playing the piano. Here are some ideas you can use to structure lessons and practice time at home. It’s okay that practice isn’t perfect at this age… practice should be fun!

    How do Kids Learn to Keep a Steady Beat?

    Provide one song each week a student can play an instrument to. Perhaps they are even going to march around the room as they play their instrument. Select music that is pretty straight forward and easy to tap a beat to like the song Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Baby Shark, and more. Here is a video to help you see what I mean.

    How do Kids Learn Short and Long Rhythm?

    Preschoolers are at the age where they are just learning the alphabet letters and learning to read some simple words. They may not be ready for music notes. I recommend that you first begin with pictures that represent short and long sounds (like these). This will help you teach the concept in a context that is easily understood by a young child. Then when kids are successful with that activity, you can move to the most simple music notes: quarter note, half note, and quarter rest. Try creating rhythms and rhythm patterns with these simple notes. If a student isn’t quite ready for the notes, put them away for a couple months and try again later.

    Kids love making patterns and long rhythms on the floor with these fun short and long animal cards.

    Teach Finger Numbers with Rhymes and Games

    Select a finger rhyme or a finger game that a student can practice at home. It takes a while for kids to really learn these rhymes and games so I recommend using only one or two per month. It’s great that some students will memorize the rhyme, as that will help prepare them to memorize music. It generally takes a while for fingers to cooperate and strengthen. Get more ideas for finger play here.

    Charts and Printable Resources for Piano Practice

    I like to use different printables for different seasons. I think kids love that too! I always have had my piano students use 3 Ring Binders to keep their practice chart, sheet music, and other printables in. I divide the binder into sections with tabs so they can easily locate the different sections, but many still need parental help with this. I put the piano practice chart for the current week in the very front so it is the first thing kids see when they open their binder.

    How to Organize a Piano Three Ring Binder

    Like I said, I put the piano practice chart in the very front of the binder. Then the next section will be any sheet music that I printed for the student. Other printable resources will go in the third section. I use post it notes as tabs for the pages kids need to see that week every day. This makes it easy for parents to know which pages are for piano practice at home. The binder is key for students and parents to find success at their home practice.

    Piano Practice Chart

    It’s okay to write on your practice chart and customize it for each student. Most parents appreciate detailed information and love it when you take two minutes toward the end of the lesson to explain what the child should do for practice at home. If you use any of the piano practice charts I have created, write in which rhythm cards they should practice, the name of the song they should play for keeping a steady beat (moving and playing with musical instruments), the finger rhyme they should practice, the piano game they are playing, and the names of the songs they are currently practicing . These activities will help teach your child so many things they need to know about playing the piano.

    Plus! The first 100 days are crucial to setting the tone for your family. Establishing good habits and great attitudes right from the start help keep practice time enjoyable and fun for kids.

    Piano Challenge Printables

    Sometimes I like to run piano challenges in the entire studio. I generally will put a piano challenge chart in the front sleeve (right on the cover) of the three ring binder. Because it is front and center, students and parents can see and remember (hopefully!) to practice for this challenge. Some challenges I have run in the music studio include learning all the note names on the grand staff in one minute (for older kids!), challenge to learn all the five finger patterns on the white keys, composition challenge to create their own song, and so on.

    practice piano

    What Piano Practice for Preschoolers Should Look Like

    Preschoolers learn by moving, so piano practice at home should be a combination of playing some songs at the piano with some movement activities and games sprinkled in. I try to have at least 10 activities for a 30 minute piano lesson for a 4-5 year old. So a short 10 minute practice time should have at least 4 activities. If you practice for 15 minutes, plan on at least 5-6 activities.

    Your piano teacher may not assign these kind of activities. It may be because they aren’t trained in working with young children, but teach piano to these kids because parents are asking for it. Piano lessons for preschoolers need to include more activities to help them learn at the level they are at. One example of games and activities for the song Itsy Bitsy Spider can be found here.

    Often kids decide they don’t like piano because it isn’t fun, and that is generally not true. It’s just the experience they had wasn’t fun. So parents… you can help provide a successful experience for your child! Whether your teacher does this for you or you do it for yourself! So let’s discover ways you can simply add more fun to at home practice.

    Fun Activities for Home Piano Practice

    1. Let’s build finger strength and fine motor skills through games, finger plays, and rhymes.
    2. Join in on the fun and play musical instruments together with your child’s favorite songs. You can find more ideas here.
    3. Move to the beat by walking, marching, stomping, jumping, hopping, skipping, etc.
    4. Use stuffed animals as practice pals. Put three on one side of the piano and have your child move one animal at a time to the other side as they practice their song. So this for each song.
    5. Use piano printable resources like charts to mark the practice for each day. This will help you monitor kids progress.
    6. Piano games are other printable resources you can use in your every day piano practice.
    7. Allow your child to learn to play songs they want to play!

    Games for First year Concepts

    The concepts most preschool students learn in the first year of piano will include:

    1. The difference between high and low and where they are located on the piano
    2. The difference between long and short sounds and that these sounds can be made into patterns
    3. The difference between soft and loud sounds and how to play these sounds at the piano
    4. How to identify the music alphabet within the groups of 2 and 3 Black Keys structure at the piano
    5. How to name, wiggle and play the different fingers: thumb, pointer, middle, ring, and pinky fingers
    6. Strengthen fingers, practice making rounded and curvy fingers, and how to sit at the piano with great posture
    7. Playing simple songs they already know like Mary Had a Little Lamb, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, or Baby Shark

    If you concentrate on playing games that provide a lot of repetition and reinforcement of these concepts through out the first year of piano practice, your student will have so much fun and will learn so naturally. All of these basics make good piano practice for new students.

    Technique

    Preschool Students are all over the place when it comes to technique because their tiny hand is just not ready for playing all five fingers like a beginning 8 or 9 or 10 year old is. So focus on games like mentioned above and expect to use pointer finger a LOT!

    Talking about Technique is another article, but playing games that focus on fine motor skills will help your child make quick progress.

    Creative

    Why do people want to learn to play the piano? Well…. the answer is usually because they want to learn to play songs they enjoy.

    And no one wants to take piano lessons for YEARS before they can ever play something they want to learn. It is SO important to find music for new students or teach them in a way that gives them access to music they love. This is the key to longevity in playing a musical instrument.

    If a teacher’s teaching style is set and the method books are set, I can usually predict the outcome. Eager kids usually begin to dread lessons and they never want to practice.

    One way to solve this dilemma is to let kids create. They love making their own songs! If they are learning about soft sounds, kids can create a song about a sneaky mouse or the frog that lost his voice. If kids are learning about low sounds, they can create a song about an elephant parade, or climbing down a mountain and going into a valley. Creating music means there is no right and wrong and kids can be successful EVERY time! This makes learning fun! When we let kids explore the piano and make music on their own they make discoveries and the learning is genuine.

    Keeping Track of Practice

    I think keeping track of practice is helpful for parents and kids. Even little children can see that if they work hard and practice they will make progress. If kids do not practice much, then a practice chart helps with personal accountability. Until kids are about 10 years old, it is so important that parents are involved in daily practice. And it is unreasonable to expect new students to do this on their own.

    Every single parent of my own piano students WANTS to know what their child should be practicing each week, so some kind of practice chart is helpful.

    For the very young piano student, I provide a chart like this so parents know how to work with their child at home.

    The First 100 Days of Practice are Important

    I mentioned earlier and I think it is important enough to restate: The first 100 days of practice set up the student for success. I wrote an article about the 10 Ways to Get Your Child Ready for Piano Lessons. Preparing for piano lessons and then being ready for the daily commitment of practice help everyone have a good experience: students, parents, and teachers.

    Piano Practice Chart for the Young Child

    I have created a set of piano practice charts for young children. These are simple to use. Each day your just cross off one of the icons to the right of the assigned item.

    If your teacher does not provide you with these kinds of activities, then go ahead and implement them at home. Too many parents just do not know what their new beginner should be doing other than practicing the songs in the book. But having these other activities will keep a light in your child’s eye and keep the joy of discovering about music alive!

    If you are interested in getting these free piano practice charts by joining my music community, then fill in your email below. I know you will love all the content I am creating to help you discover how you can be the best parent for your budding musician.

    10 Ways to Get Your Child Ready for Piano Lessons

    Parents often struggle with how to get their child ready for piano lessons. How do they prepare? There are so many questions, such as what type of lesson should they take? What age is best? What if my child doesn’t like it? If you’re a parent who has been asking these questions too, then this blog post is for you!  In the following 10 ways to get your child ready for piano lessons, we will discuss all the aspects of getting started and offer tips on how parents can make sure that their child enjoys his/her first experience.

    How to get ready for piano lessons

    get your child ready for piano lessons

    Realize that parental involvement is the key to success before you start piano lessons.

    Even if your child is reading on their own, children need active and daily parental involvement with piano lessons.  Young children especially will need help reading the teacher’s practice instructions, locating the pages in the books, doing assigned homework, working with apps, instructional videos, music games, and flashcards.  Parents who didn’t play piano themselves may not feel qualified for such duties, but piano teachers expect parents to be involved. Learn some basic tips about how to practice at home so that you can help them get started with this.

    I have been teaching piano for decades (yikes, that sounds like forever) and I always say the same thing to new students starting piano lessons… parents must carve out time in their day (every day!) to make sure their child is successful!

    Parents need to monitor their child as they begin lessons to make sure things are going well.  Does their child need help developing fine motor skills?  Is their student practicing willingly?  Remember to give your child positive feedback everyday!  It’s okay to make mistakes (we all do). Be patient with mistakes, but don’t let it go on too long before correcting the problem.

    Try to make practicing fun. If your child says what you are telling them is incorrect, then contact your teacher immediately to clear up any confusion. Stay positive and be a source of encouragement and support.  Don’t give up! Acknowledge it will take time, but the benefits are worth it in the end.

    Select your first instrument before you begin piano lessons.

    When should a child have a piano?

    It’s wise to have an instrument in the home for children to explore before beginning their musical education.  In fact it’s a great idea to have a piano in your home long before you even think your child is ready to start learning.

    Younger kids who are allowed to explore the piano will naturally realize many things about this musical instrument.  At a young age they can hear low sounds on the left side of the instrument and high sounds on the right side.  They will notice long sounds if they play a note and hold it, or a short sound if they play a note quickly.  Kids who have this kind of exposure to the instrument in early childhood learn piano very quickly because they already have so much time to explore their natural curiosity and learn foundational concepts.

    I wrote an article “How to Create a Joyful Home Using Children’s Music” and putting a piano in the home is one way of incorporating more music into your home.

    ready for piano lessons

    What kind of piano should I get?

    There are acoustic or electronic pianos.  There are many pros and cons to each and I will discuss those in another blog post.  Be aware that piano teachers may have a preference and may not begin piano lessons with your child if you do not select what they require.  So you may want to investigate who you may select for teaching piano and ask what their preference is.

    Get the best instrument you can afford. Piano teachers want full size digital keyboards that have fully weighted keys and a pedal, or an acoustic piano that is in tune.

    Where should the piano be placed?

    Make sure the instrument is placed in a location free of distractions.  Also be sure your music bench is the correct height for your child.  This will change as you child grows, so an adjustable bench is wonderful.  Make adjustments to your bench if it is not the correct height.  If you have questions about this, your teacher will give you detailed instruction when you start lessons.

    Explore the piano together before music lessons begin

    Unstructured exploration

    Find out what music interests your child – it might be classical, jazz, or rock!  Knowing your child’s interest before your child is ready to begin lessons will help you focus on finding music your child is excited about learning.  Do they love Itsy Bitsy Spider, or Jingle Bells, or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, or Ode to Joy?  These are all songs kids can learn without reading instructions or notes. I am linking some examples below.

    Kids lives are busy.  And much of their days are scheduled.  So piano offers a time in their lives when they can unwind… a time when they can forget about the world and the stress around them and just create music.  This is why I think the kind of music kids play is important.  If they don’t love the music they are learning, then piano is just another thing to put on the “to-do” list and will not be enjoyable.  Giving kids time to explore the piano that is unstructured is so so beneficial to kids.

    ready for piano lessons

    Structured exploration

    Parents can play simple piano games to help kids notice things about the piano.  Discovering together with your child will help them learn many musical concepts.  Playing simple games can help parents teach basics in a fun and non-threatening way (especially parents with no prior piano experience).

    Beginning Piano Concepts

    Here are some of the basic concepts beginning piano students will learn:

    Piano Games

    There are many resources for parents and teachers. An article I wrote about how to teach a song by rote (imitation… read more here!) will help parents explore the piano with their child as they get ready for piano lessons.

    These piano games are fun to play. Parents can easily print out and play these games at home.

    1. Piano Race Game
    2. Music Alphabet Match Game
    3. Piano Match Game
    4. Itsy Bitsy Spider Piano Activities & Games
    5. Animal Lovers Short & Long Rhythm Activity
    6. Hot Cross Buns Sweet Treat Cards
    7. Sneaky Mouse Cards
    8. Music Match & Memory Game
    9. Five Fingers Game
    10. Twinkle Twinkle and The Mixed Up Little Star
    11. Fidget Spinner Counting
    12. Hokey Pokey Play-Doh Activity
    13. Here is the Beehive Music Activity

    Piano Keys Letters – Cards you can place over groups of 2 and 3 black keys, like piano keys letters help kids see the music alphabet and how it fits on the piano. Knowing some of the basics of the keyboard geography is very helpful! 

    Discovering high sounds, low sounds, and the sounds in the middle. Learning where the famous Middle C is located is wonderful.  I love to have students learn to sing the sound of middle C everytime they pass by or sit at the piano.  This helps develop the inner ear (and perfect pitch).

    Pay attention to your child’s learning style and personality.

    Parents can get their toddlers ready for piano lessons
    `

    Paying attention to your child’s learning style and personality will help you select the right teacher for your child.  Is your child a visual learner?  A teacher who emphasizes note reading may be a good fit.  But that teacher may not be a good fit if they only teach classical music and your child wants to learn more popular music.  So knowing what you and your child want out of piano will help you get ready for piano lessons.

    Find the right teacher

    You will want to find a teacher who can recognize the needs and desires of your child and who will provide feedback in ways that are understandable.  They should also be someone who is caring, encouraging and supportive.

    The right teacher will be asking questions about your child and aligning their teaching strategies and music to help you achieve your goals.  Some teachers have their own agendas and goals.  If their goals line up with your own, that’s great!  But often parents don’t realize that not all teachers teach piano with the student’s goals in mind.  Knowing this as you talk to teachers will help you select the right fit for your child.

    Realize not all learning happens at the piano

    These days there are amazing apps that are beneficial to piano students.  Take advantage of technology in order to make learning fun.

    There are also hands-on piano games that can be printed and played.  For instance, I have a free piano race game that teaches the musical alphabet in a fun way.  This game is at the piano but students are not sitting!  They are moving all the way from the lowest note to the highest note.

    Also, kids can learn by using youtube videos and other online resources for learning.

    Encourage your child to learn some songs without reading music

    Encourage creativity!  They can compose their own creations. Then ask engaging open ended questions about their song.  Why did they begin the song like they did?  Did the song tell a story?

    Kids will also love to learn a song they know (like Baby Shark, Itsy Bitsy Spider, or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) by ear. I remember learning Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, Chopsticks, and Heart and Soul long before I began taking piano lessons.

    Learning fun songs kids already know really do help them get ready for piano lessons. Plus, they will have some songs to play at their very first piano lesson!

    Play games that help develop fine motor skills

    fine motor skills games help kids prepare for piano lessons

    Kids need to be physically ready for piano playing.  Piano requires  so many new skills and they will have greater success if they do not struggle with finger independence and finger strength. 

    Your child’s readiness will be apparent if they can wiggle (one at a time) each of their five fingers, know their right hand and left hand, and their hand size isn’t too small.  Can they play each finger on the piano?  Can they play a simple melody like Mary Had a Little Lamb?

    If you focus on playing with toys that prepare kids for piano lessons (like these) then kids’ fine motor skills will be more developed and they will be ready to start lessons when their interest develops.

    Children who are 4, 5, and 6 years old struggle the most with moving their fingers independently.  But I have found even 7, 8, 9,  and 10 year olds struggle.  I believe this is because as a culture kids spend more time watching television and videos and do not play outdoors as much (the kind of activity that strengthens hands).  They also spend less time writing which is an epitome of fine motor skills.

    Listen to Music

    Listening to music is beneficial to kids.  There are many reasons listening to music is beneficial to kids and in this article I list 15 of those reasons.  One way to listen to more music each day is to create several playlists that you can utilize at a moment’s notice.  Playlists for soothing, relaxing and calming down, energizing and getting ready for the day, rainy day movement music, uplifting and positive energy music, night time go to sleep, etc.

    Recently I have had students who cannot feel a steady beat.  This is a very very important skill in all music education and it really starts with listening to music. So I firmly believe the more babies, toddlers, and preschoolers listen to music, the more prepared they will be when they are ready for piano lessons.

    Sing, Dance, and Play musical instruments together

    Kids can start playing musical instruments from the time they are babies!  You will see a child hold a rattle and shake it!  Sing to them!  Sing with them! Create music! Move with music!  Kids learn best when they are moving! And play various rhythm instruments to help develop a steady beat or play along with a fun rhythm.

    Some parents need a little help when it comes to knowing what and how to do something. So if this is you, I will give you a confidence booster. When the pandemic began and I closed my early childhood music classes, I decided to record a 6 week online class. You can watch episode 1 on my Music Time Kid YouTube Channel below:

    You will be able to see HOW I work with kids. Using these ideas you can use your own favorite songs to help establish a strong musical foundation for your child. If you aren’t sure what kinds of music you should use I have a couple of links in the LISTEN TO MUSIC section above that will give you a lot of great songs.

    CONCLUSION:

    I am thrilled when parents of my beginning piano students are thoughtful and provided these kind of activities for their children before beginning piano lessons. Kids make quick and efficient progress. So I hope you find these ideas helpful as you help your child get ready for piano lessons!

    Get My First Preschool Piano Game for free!

    Do you want your child to learn preschool piano?

    This is the first game I play with every one of my students. Now you can play at home!

      We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

      What are Lullabies that Calm and Put your Baby to Sleep?

      What are lullabies?

      what are lullabies

      A lullaby or cradle song, is a soothing song or piece of music that is usually played for (or sung to) children. Parents sing a lullaby to help their children fall asleep.

      Because most lullabies are passed down from one generation to the next orally, there are no known composers, but rather the songs are identified by their countries of origin. Most lullabies are repetitive and have very simple melodies and parents can create a joyful home using children’s music in their everyday lives.

      Often a lullaby is thought of as goodnight song because parents typically will sing these songs or play soothing lullabies when it is time for babies to go to sleep. I always encourage parents to sing live lullabies because it is so important for your child to listen and hear your voice! There really is nothing better to put baby to sleep.

      Lullabies Create Memories

      I remember my mother sang many lullabies to me. One of those song I remember is Too La Roo La (an Irish Lullaby). I can still remember the rocking chair in my bedroom. And I remember putting each of my own babies to sleep with a soft hum or song. Those are wonderful memories! You can create music memories with your child too!

      Below I will share 10 traditional lullabies that are very well known and will include a couple of my favorites (I can’t resist!)

      Calm Kid Music for Parents

      I recently created a music video filled with soothing, calm and relaxing music. It is wonderful not only for children (naptime, bedtime, study time, and such), but all of my mommy friends love it too (think a relaxing soak in the bathtub with this music!) I don’t know about you, but I find adding relaxing music to my day just helps my mental health so much! This is the video below!

      Why do lullabies calm a crying child?

      Parents find lullabies calm babies because they listen to them singing. Imagine a mother soothingly humming and looking into the lovely face of her beautiful child. I struggled to get my first born to sleep at night for an entire year (or maybe 3!). Sleep time was always a chore of hand holding, singing, reading stories, and more. My husband and I took turns at bedtime because it was so exhausting. Why won’t this child go to sleep? I asked myself over and over.

      There are many children who resist bedtime because they do not want to separate from their parents. So I have found soothing, calm music and lullabies to be very helpful. Below I will share 10 of my favorite lullabies, but please know…. there are thousands of lullabies from around the world.

      Passed down from parent to child, these soothing melodies stand the test of time in beauty and simplicity. Parents may sing to their child until he falls asleep.

      I admit, there are many lullabies that have dark undertones. Found in old fairy tales or folklore, those lullabies have images of baby stealing, little grey wolf, scary giant, baby plummets, black eagles soaring, and the like. These creepier lullabies generally taught a moral lesson and although the outcomes were sometimes sad, message is delivered with love. Nonetheless, in today’s post we will focus on the less gruesome (I hope!) because you will see even popular lullabies still sung today aren’t always full of sunshine.

      10 lullabies that calm crying children

      Rock A Bye Baby

      Still sung today, this popular lullaby is sung by Raffi. This version comes from his album Calming Classical Lullabies

      This article published in the UK states, “Rock-a-bye-Baby, also contains danger, warning in the nicest possible way that the baby and cradle will drop from the bough of a tree. Night-time has always been associated with darkness and fear and this may go some way to explaining the threatening themes in some lullabies, says Sally Goddard Blythe, author of a number of books on child development, and director of The Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology. But all lullabies – even the scary ones – she says, are rooted in “love, tenderness and caring”. Many lullabies, regardless of the meaning of their words, possess a peaceful hypnotic quality.”

      Nina Perry, BBC World Service

      Rock a Bye Baby

      Rock a-bye, baby,
      On the tree top,
      When the wind blows,
      The cradle will rock.
      When the bough breaks,
      The baby will fall,
      Down will come baby,
      Cradle and all!

      baby lullaby

      Hush Little Baby

      Lisa Loeb sings this lullaby from her album Nursery Rhyme Parade!

      Hush Little Baby (Mockingbird)

      Hush, little baby, don’t say a word,
      Mama’s going to buy you a mockingbird.
      And if that mocking bird don’t sing,
      Mama’s going to buy you a diamond ring.
      And if that diamond ring turns brass,
      Mama’s going to buy you a looking glass.
      And if that looking glass gets broke,
      Mama’s going to buy you a billy goat.
      And if that billy goat won’t pull,
      Mama’s going to buy you a cart and bull.
      And if that cart and bull turn over,
      Mama’s going to buy you a dog named Rover.
      And if that dog named Rover won’t bark,
      Mama’s going to buy you a horse and cart.
      And if that horse and cart fall down,
      You’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town.

      You Are My Sunshine

      The Fox + The Hound lullaby version from the album Moon Songs: Lullabies for Baby and Parent

      You are My Sunshine

      You are my sunshine
      My only sunshine
      You make me happy
      When skies are gray
      You’ll never know, dear
      How much I love you
      Please don’t take my sunshine away

      Cradle Song (Brahm’s Lullaby)

      Brahms’ Lullaby sung by Celine Dion on her album These Are Special Times

      I love this lullaby version because lullabies sung by true vocal artists with a mother’s voice like Celine Dion are just heavenly.

      Brahms’ Lullaby

      “Lullaby and goodnight,
      With roses bestride
      With lilies bedecked, ’neath baby’s sweet bed
      May thou sleep, may thou rest, may thy slumber be blest
      May thou sleep, may thou rest, may thy slumber be blest…”

      Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

      This lullaby version is by Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell from the album Catch the Moon. I hope this inspires you to realize you can hum any children’s song and it is a lullaby! Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is my 2 year old grandson’s favorite song. It would be his hands down favorite lullaby!

      Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

      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

      All the Pretty Horses

      This lullaby version from Beautiful Chorus is from the album Good Night Moon Child. This was probably my favorite lullaby when I was in grade school. I remember learning this folk song and I just loved it! I never sang it to any of my children though, because by the time I was a mother, I had other lullabies I loved even more.

      Hush-a-bye (All the Pretty Little Horses) Lullaby

      Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry
      Go to sleep little baby
      When you wake
      You will find
      All the pretty little horses:
      Oh, dapples and greys, pintos & bays,
      Oh, all the pretty little horses.
      Way down yonder
      In a meadow
      Poor little baby cryin’ mama
      Birds and the butterflies
      Fly all around him
      Poor little baby cryin’ mama.
      Oh, hush-a-bye, don’t you cry
      Go to sleep little baby
      Oh, when you wake
      You will find
      All the pretty little horses.

      Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

      This lullaby version is by Suzy Bogguss from the album American Folk Songbook. This was my ALL-TIME favorite lullaby to sing to any child. I am very fond of American Spirituals and along with the following song, All Night, All Day they were the best pair of lullabies for this mother!

      Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

      Swing low, sweet chariot
      Coming for to carry me home
      Swing low, sweet chariot
      Coming for to carry me home

      I looked over Jordan, and what did I see
      Coming for to carry me home
      A band of angels coming after me
      Coming for to carry me home

      Swing low, sweet chariot
      Coming for to carry me home
      Swing low, sweet chariot
      Coming for to carry me home

      If you get there before I do
      Coming for to carry me home
      Tell all my friends I’m coming, too
      Coming for to carry me home

      Swing low, sweet chariot
      Coming for to carry me home
      Swing low, sweet chariot
      Coming for to carry me home

      I’m sometimes up and sometimes down
      Coming for to carry me home
      But still my soul feels heavenly bound
      Coming for to carry me home

      Swing low, sweet chariot
      Coming for to carry me home
      Swing low, sweet chariot
      Coming for to carry me home

      The brightest day that I can say
      Coming for to carry me home
      When Jesus washed my sins away
      Coming for to carry me home

      Swing low, sweet chariot
      Coming for to carry me home
      Swing low, sweet chariot
      Coming for to carry me home

      If I get there before you do
      Coming for to carry me home
      I’ll cut a hole and pull you through
      Coming for to carry me home

      what are lullabies

      All Night, All Day (Angels Watching Over Me)

      This lullaby version is by Shaina Noll from her album You Can Relax Now. I always taught this song to my Christian Daycare kiddos. Lyrics akin to the children’s prayer… Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen. I like the lyrics to this song better…. Stay with me through out the night, and wake me with the morning light.

      All Night, All Day (Angels Watching Over Me)

      Chorus:
      All night, all day,
      angels watching over me, my Lord.
      All night, all day,
      angels watching over me.
      Now I lay me down to sleep.
      Angels watching over me, my Lord.
      Pray the Lord my soul to keep.
      Angels watching over me.
      Lord, stay with me through the night.
      Angels watching over me, my Lord.
      Wake me with the morning light.
      Angels watching over me.

      Highland Fairy Lullaby

      There are many beautiful lullabies from around the world. This lullaby comes from Scotland. This is an example of what I mentioned above in terms of creepy storyline. But if you listen to the melody, you will see it is simple and singable. If you learn this melody (I am providing an instrumental version) it is easy to hum. Let me know if the comments below what you think of this melody after you listen to it.

      Highland Fairy Lullaby

      She left her baby lying here,
      Lying here, lying here,
      She left her baby lying here
      To go and gather blaeberries*.
      She saw the wee brown otter’s track,
      Otter’s track, otter’s track ;
      She saw the wee brown otter’s track,
      But she ne’er saw her baby!
      (Chorus)
      Ho-van, ho-van gorry o go,
      Gorry o go, gorry o go;
      Ho-van, ho-van gorry o go,
      She never found her baby.
      She searched the moorland tarns and then,
      Wandered through the silent glen;
      And she saw the mist upon the ben,
      But she never saw her baby.
      She heard the curlew crying far,
      Crying far, crying far,
      She heard the curlew crying far,
      But she never heard her baby.
      (Chorus)
      Ho-van, ho-van gorry o go,
      Gorry o go, gorry o go;
      Ho-van, ho-van gorry o go,
      She lost her darling baby.
      She left her baby lying here,
      Lying here, lying here,
      She left her baby lying here.
      To go and gather blaeberries.

      Do you have a favorite lullaby?

      Do you have a favorite lullaby? Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite lullaby is. AND if you have a favorite version (or artist) of your lullaby. I am always looking for beautiful songs to add to my playlist!

      15 Benefits of Music on Kids’ Health

      benefits of music on kids health

      Music has been a part of human life for centuries. It is what we listen to while we work, relax and exercise. But did you know that the right type of music can also be good for kids? Ironically you don’t need a fancy music education degree, or have any formal music training. The power of music can make a huge impact on the health of your kids! In this blog post, we are going to explore 15 benefits of music on kids’ health.

      15 Benefits of Music for Kids Health:

      Creative Thinking

      The first benefit of music is that it encourages creative thinking. Music is a creative form of self-expression. Parents who incorporate music into children’s lives give kids a creative outlet to express themselves emotionally and creatively. You can listen to music or encourage some musical instruction. The kind of music instruction can vary. Whether parents provide music classes, singing lessons, instrumental music training, or just sing and play with young children at home, music makes self-expression more accessible. For parents who need a little guidance on ideas how to sing and play with a young child, check out my free toddler music class here!

      healthy kids
      benefits of music on kids health

      Relieving Stress and Anxiety

      The benefits also include relieving stress and anxiety. This is dependent upon the type of music you listen to. I have found that listening to soothing music calms the mind. Listening to relaxing music before bedtime, playing or singing your child’s favorite songs helps their brain focus on happy and calm thoughts. Music also has physical health benefits… reducing heart rates during stressful moments. Music has been proven time and time again to be beneficial in these situations.

      Music therapists often have patients listen to music. But, music therapy is not just listening to music. Music therapists use music to encourage people to have a better mood and outlook on life. Music therapy can be done by listening, creating or singing. It might also include dancing to the music.

      Brain Development

      Music is also beneficial in a child’s brain development. A study published shows that music instruction improves verbal memory. In addition, research shows that music will also increase the ability to memorize information, and speeds up problem-solving skills by as much as 20%.  Early music learning can really improve later academic performance. Music education doesn’t just have to be taking classes from various music programs, but parents intentionally bringing music to life in the home by singing and playing music instruments will affect their child. Young children listening to music can enjoy their favorite music in their everyday life and it helps them in so many ways!

      Language Development

      Music enhances language development in children and benefits the brain. This is most apparent in the young child. For instance, it is beneficial to speak with children about music during play time in order to promote cognitive development on a variety of levels. Music can be used in games such as identifying letters, shapes, colors or numbers by using musical references. For example, one can sing the alphabet song as a way to help their child recognize or identify letters. This is a great way for parents and caregivers to combine language and music through play time.

      Improved Brain Plasticity and Spatial Intelligence

      Music improves brain plasticity and spatial intelligence. That is key to their learning abilities!   Music helps children learn because of the way it stimulates brain development. It also activates parts of the brain that are related to memory, language and abstract thought as well as social behaviors such as empathy and emotional response.

      Spatial intelligence involves the ability to think about objects in relation to one another and understand spatial relationships. It is also important for understanding math concepts such as geometry and algebra. One study found that music instruction at a young age can improve performance on tests of spatial intelligence later in life. The subjects who had received music lessons scored higher than those who had not.

      Increased Concentration

      Listening to classical or relaxing music increases concentration and eliminates other distractions in children. Increased concentration will ultimately result in greater academic achievement.

      Calming Effect

      Children who have been diagnosed with autism benefit from listening to classical music because it calms their nervous system and helps regulate emotions while improving cognitive function. Music therapy often incorporates classical music into treatment because listening to music is so effective.

      ADHD Response

      Music benefits children with ADHD and other mental disabilities by helping them with paying attention, regulating moods, and providing music therapy for various conditions. Affecting the development of neurotransmitters, music can help regulate a child’s mood by igniting dopamine production, which regulates pleasure and excitement. This is a noteworthy factor in language learning because it increases attentiveness.

      Physical Health

      Listening to music benefits kids’ health because it encourages physical activity that improves strength, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility and coordination. Studies have shown that kids who move to music are healthier, happier and more confident than those who don’t.

      Learning a Musical Instrument

      Hand eye coordination, reading skills, math skills and social interaction are a few of the multitude of benefits in learning to play a musical instrumen. Learning a musical instrument requires focus, coordination and practice. It teaches responsibility as well as how to be organized and on time for lessons. Through the process of learning to play an instrument your child will build hand-eye coordination, improve their spelling skills through reading music notes and become better problem solvers. It will also help your child develop patience and perseverance, which are useful skills in life that will help them obtain many things they want. The sense of accomplishment when a child masters a new song is palpable and very rewarding for them as well as the parents or caregivers who see their hard work pay off with progress.

      Music Education Effects on Social Skills

      Additionally, arts education and music lessons allow older children to participate in group music making. Learning to play an instrument or sing with friends in various music programs provides social skills. Kids involved in band, orchestra or a singing group expand their social circle. They make new friends through their music teacher, practice sessions and performances. A result of being in choir or band with other children, they develop stronger bonds with people around them. Because of this, they have reduced depression from isolation.

      Musical training often involves working with a teacher and that connection with an instructor in a music program can yield lifelong relationships. Learning to play music helps build self-esteem for your child which is great for developing healthy social skills and coping mechanisms.

      Developing Discipline

      Music training also increases discipline. It takes discipline to practice a musical instrument every day. Weekly music lessons provide the framework for instruction, but progress is only realized with consistent practice.

      Creates Empathy for Others

      Music learning supports learning about different cultures. Listening to the music of other cultures provides awareness and empathy for others. This will enhance the mind, body and soul. The sooner young minds are exposed to music from other cultures the more appreciative and empathetic they will be toward others. Children who listen to and learn about other cultures’ customs and traditions will be more tolerant of others’ beliefs. 

      benefits of music playing violin
      benefits of music playing the piano

      Elevates Self-Esteem

      Musical training that involves taking music lessons, receives all the benefits of music! And musically trained children also develop higher self-esteem and confidence through performing or singing in front of an audience. Performance exposure can bring greater confidence because it gives children the chance to act out their emotions while interacting with many different people. The performance stage gives a child a sense of comfort – which is then translated to other areas of life.

      Provides Bonding Experience

      Enjoying listening to music together provides a bonding experience for parents and children that is important throughout life. Whether you are playing music, singing, are just listening to music, music brings joy to life and gives families a way to express love.

      Bonus Benefit for Parents!

      Music also contributes to reduced stress for the adults in children’s lives. Teachers or parents who play calming music while working with children are more patient and kind.

      Conclusion 

      As you can see, music improves the lives of children AND adults in so many ways. On the surface, it may not seem like music can actually result in good health for kids, but I have seen first hand there are many, many benefits of music for kids’ health. So I hope that you will take the time to play some favorite tunes, and whether or not you have any formal training, make music in your own family.

      For parents of babies and toddlers who need a little help I have written a blog post that tells why I created an online music class for toddlers. You may find it helpful, and I encourage you to sign up for my free music class. You’ll get lots of great ideas on how you can work with your child at home with your favorite songs!

      For parents of preschoolers, check out the materials (here’s one) I am creating to help you prepare your child for piano lessons. There are lots of games and activities you can play at home that will help your child succeed when they are ready for formal piano lessons.

      Playtime for Toddlers

      How Can I Make Playtime Better for My Toddler?

      Music is an important part of playtime for toddlers. It stimulates their imagination and creativity, builds vocabulary in a natural way, and has been shown to improve brain power.

      The saying goes, music makes everything in the world better. Toddlers are no exception to this rule. Playtime is important for them to learn and develop their basic motor skills, speech, and language. Music during playtime helps your toddler develop these skills; it also builds their imagination and creativity when they use props (household items or toys), or ability to pretend when they take their cues from the music.

      Research has shown that all children, including toddlers, have a natural drive to explore their surroundings and interact with others – this is called intrinsic motivation. Through play, toddlers develop imagination and creativity in addition to physical skills such as balance, coordination and problem solving.

      Ways to Use Music During Playtime for Toddlers

      There are many ways to include music in your toddler’s playtime. Music can be a central theme, where you sing songs and use props with your child. It can also be a background to other types of play such as blocks, legos, cars and trucks; however this method is best for older toddlers who have an understanding of the correlation between music and character. Here are some ideas to include music in your toddler’s playtime that is fun and stimulating!

      1) Sing fun songs

      Songs with actions and simple words are a good place to start. The most important part of singing is participation. Singing without any action isn’t as much fun for young children who can’t talk yet.  

      “Head, shoulders, knees, toes” or “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands” or “Patty cake, Patty cake” can be good places to start.

      This may be one of the easiest ways to include music in toddler play; however it is also one of the most effective. Songs are a great way for children to learn rhythm and rhyme, which is an important part of language development. Older children also develop language skills and benefit from singing childhood songs.

      2)   Incorporate music toys into playtime

      playtime for toddlers

      There are many toys your child can use to make music. Think about the types of sound effects that each toy makes and incorporate those sounds into songs.  Providing a sensory bin during toddler play will provide opportunities for little ones to explore new textures and sounds.

      For example you may place a few toys, a small kitchen pan, plastic dishes, wooden spoons or other household objects that are safe for young children in a basket for babies and toddlers to explore. This unstructured playtime allows children to explore and not necessarily use the toy or object “correctly”.

      Explore the world with them! Encourage your toddler to play and nurture their interest in the world around them. This will help develop their curiosity, and engage them in learning how and why things fit together. It will also help them develop problem-solving skills.

      Parents can help with pretend play. For example, if you sing “The wheels on the bus go round and round” while pushing a car or truck toy as the child pushes along with you, you help your toddler’s development in correlating the text of the song to the activity. This demonstrates pretend play for your child which they will later copy.

      3)  Play percussion instruments with your toddler

      Another great way to incorporate music is to play instruments with your child. Parents playing an instrument during playtime helps kids copy what their parents are doing. They can then develop physical skills such as keeping a steady beat or learning short or long rhythms. Learning to feel a steady beat is so so important and I talk more about it in this blog post.

      One way I love to play percussion instruments with children is to play an instrument along with my favorite song. I am not a huge fan of tons of screen time for young children, but I do think having access to great quality music important. Having several playlists on a device ready at a moment’s notice is ideal for parents. You have the music you need the moment you need it. Children older than toddlers may have a device especially for educational content and music playlists. I have several playlists for toddler playtime and other activities than just playtime. You can check them out here:

      15 Songs That Get Your Toddler Moving

      Rainy Day Music and Movement Songs

      10 Songs That Get My Kids Cleaning

      4) Turn on some nursery rhymes

      playtime with toddlers song

      Parents can start with music they are familiar with such as “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” “This Little Piggy Went to Market,” or “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”

      Toddlers love repetition! So singing songs that are familiar over and over are great for them. They will get familiar with the tune and want to sing along even if they don’t know all the words.

      One tip is to have one favorite recording of each nursery rhyme. If you have these songs in a playlist, you can turn these on as you watch your child play. I love watching their facial expressions as they learn to sing these rhymes and I can tell right away which ones are their favorite.

      5) Play an instrument together

      Stringed instruments such as a ukulele can be fun because toddlers enjoy using their hands to “strum”. The rhythm of this instrument can also be fun to dance along to.

      Every child who has come to one of my early childhood music classes is interested in getting their hands on a ukulele. I use one to accompany myself as we sing together, but I also have several toy ukuleles. They do not sound as good as a real soprano ukulele, but kids love playing them. This play helps them desire to play a real musical instrument when they get older.

      Parents often ask me about getting a ukulele for their child (and also one that they can learn to play) and I usually recommend this one for preschoolers.

      Remember when I mentioned that kids explore instruments and often do not “play them” as they are intended to play? Well, playing an instrument together is a wonderful way for you demonstrate the correct way to play a instrument. Kids will eventually copy your modelling.

      There are plenty of other musical instruments you can use to play together. Bongos, drums, bells, maracas, etc. would fit this category too.  Having a variety of musical instruments available during toddler playtime is beneficial.

      6) Play a simple instrument yourself

      Play a simple instrument yourself while the child watches. A kazoo or maracas are simple instruments that toddlers can learn to play. They will be excited and proud of themselves for “making music”. It’s a good chance to work on taking turns since the child will want to make music too!

      If you don’t feel you are musical and feel you are not qualified to play an instrument, just start simple. Sing a song. Shake a maraca as you sing, or ring some bells. Even playing peekaboo with a receiving blanket as you sing a simple song is fun for kids and sets the example for young children.

      For more ideas on how you can work with kids ages 0-5 years old, watch my free toddler music class. It will demonstrate how you can interact with your child and use your favorite music in playtime for toddlers!

      7) Use music as a setting for unstructured play

      playtime for toddlers music

      Music doesn’t have to be the focus of playtime as long as it is playing in the background. It can help create a peaceful and lively atmosphere for toddlers which makes them feel more relaxed.  

      During free play, music that isn’t too loud or distracting will allow children to use their imaginations.  You can even use music during outdoor play.

      By incorporating music into the background of physical activities such as playing with building blocks or toy cars, children learn to be able to create a story line for themselves!

      Do I Need a Lot of Musical Toys?

      A simple set of musical toys is enough to get started when you want to focus on improving your playtime for toddlers.

      If the toy makes a noise or plays music, it’s likely to be fun for your toddler. Set these items in the play area and see what types of games they want to make up!

      Music playtime for toddlers can also include stuffed animals for kids to bounce in their lap. This fun activity will help them learn to feel a steady beat, and also inspire their imagination. In today’s world, there is so much stimulation so it is wonderful when toddlers learn that they can they can enjoy music with their favorite stuffed friend without creating loud noises.

      If you are worried about having too many toys or creating an overwhelming environment, try removing the majority of toys and keeping only a few out at a time. This will make it easier to clean up at the end of playtime instead of being overwhelmed by excess things.

      Incorporating music during playtime is an easy way to improve your relationship with your toddler. It’s good for them too! It will create a positive, joyful environment that everyone can enjoy.

      How much playtime does my toddler need?

      Use your toddler’s interests and abilities to design playtime. As your toddler grows, she may need less structured play time. By encouraging her interests and abilities, you can adapt playtime for best results. You will see below ways that you can incorporate playtime and toddler activities into your everyday life.

      fun playtime for toddlers

      Talk to your child

      Ask about their activities during the day, such as eating a favourite food or playing with friends. Listen carefully so that you can respond to their interests. Use your child’s interests as a springboard for the types of music and songs you select. Even babies, kids age one, and two year olds show preference to the things they like. In fact you can even begin to share music with your child before birth, and then modify your music selections later to their preference.

      Change the way you think about playtime

      Use the knowledge of your child to plan activities that will capture their enthusiasm, encourage language skills, and provide creative as well as physical activity. For example, if they’re interested in vehicles, imagining a car wash or a traffic jam. This pretend play involving cars and trucks provides a story line for for them to act out.

      If your child is interested in playing house, then encourage play by having them set up a picnic at the same time as you are making a lunch. Or let them play with a sponge, water, and soap bubbles in the kitchen sink when you are cleaning.

      Finding music that captures their imagination will help support them in unstructured toddler play.

      Plan variety

      A wide range of experiences promotes development and creativity in addition to encouraging language skills and social interaction. Use your knowledge of what interests your child to build on what they already know while encouraging new activities.   To encourage these skills, focus on providing your child with rich experiences.

      Make playtime active

      Include activities from your child’s daily routine, such as feeding the dog or setting the table for a meal. These will help develop better communication and social skills with you and others. During playtime, encourage physical activity by encouraging outdoor and creative activities. Explore how to use everyday objects to move around and have fun.

      Vary the space

      Playing in different rooms of the house builds a toddler’s spatial awareness. It also helps children understand that objects still exist even when they are out of sight. This is the same for toddlers playing in various indoor and outdoor locations.

      Changing rooms (such as outside), bedrooms and kitchens is like providing language activities via real life stimuli. Find out what interests your toddler most about different places, such as water in the bathtub, books in the corner of the living room, a laundry basket from the laundry room, or the sandbox outside. Their favorite places are wonderful environments to add music to inspire higher level creative play. By the way, kids often enjoy playing with their outdoor toys inside too!

      Use materials you have on hand

      Encourage your toddler to play with everyday objects such as pots, pans, food containers, or big empty boxes. Have you ever noticed that kids will play with a box all day and leave all the best toys untouched. Playing with everyday objects can increase physical activity as well as language ability. I would recommend placing several household items and some stuffed animals in the sensory bin (mentioned earlier) that you create for your child.

      Involve your child in household tasks

      Accompany simple activities like setting the table for dinner with language and songs about the meal, encouraging imitation. For example, if you sing a song like “Apples and Bananas” then you can be silly and change the lyrics to the foods you are serving. This makes the chore of setting the table super fun!

      When parents present chores as “play” and incorporate music to heighten the experience, kids develop a natural love for helpful behavior. I think this is a long-term “win-win.”

      Playtime for Toddlers

      How can I make playtime better for my toddler? This is an important time to teach your child valuable skills through play. If you provide them with the right toys and allow them to let their imagination run wild, you can create a stimulating world of learning that all children deserve!

      I hope you find a few helpful tips in this article. Let me know in a comment what ideas have helped you or inspire you to make some simple changes in your parenting!

      And if you’d like to be guided through a music class for toddlers that I have created go ahead and click the link below! Watching my music class will help you with ideas on how you can have fun and incorporate music into your toddler’s playtime.

      10 Songs That Get My Kids Cleaning

      Why Play Music While You are Cleaning?

      songs that get my kids cleaning

      Today I want to share 10 songs that get my kids cleaning with me! Why play music while you are cleaning? Kids love music! And who doesn’t love a little bit of peace and quiet? Using music to clean up is one of my favorite strategies for getting the house in order without fighting with the kids. I simply ask that they help me pick up as we go along, so by the end we’re all done!

      These songs are available on Amazon, so I’ve included some links to them to make things easier for you. But I also included Youtube links so you can build a free playlist from Youtube.

      10 songs that get my kids cleaning with me

      Besides this list of songs that get my kids cleaning, I also have another blog post that encourage movement. And a blog post that has songs perfect for getting the wiggles out on a rainy day! These songs would also work as cleaning songs!


      List of 10 Cleaning Songs That Energize Parents and Kids!

      This isn’t just your normal songs featuring kids singing for kids. These are songs even parents can groove to – some oldies, bluegrass, caribbean, italian, and more! I love creating some diversity for parents and kids that allows them to explore songs from other cultures! I hope these songs energize you! They will definitely make time to clean more fun. Now let’s clean up everybody!

      1)       “ABC” by Jackson 5 * (Amazon) (Youtube)

      ABC as easy as 1-2-3! Michael Jackson is such an energizer and kids will love to repeat ABC and 1-2-3 with this song! I guess it is kind of an oldie these days but an iconic Michael Jackson song. This is a lively and fun clean up song!

      2)            “The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens (Amazon) (YouTube)

      How many remakes of this song have been recorded over the years? Kids today will recognize this song from The Lion King, but it is so fun to actually get to hear the original! Once I start listening to this song I’m humming it all day long. It’s definitely one of my favorite clean up songs.

      3)            “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin (Amazon) (Youtube)

      A song to whistle along to. Kind of like Snow White’s philosophy on cleaning… whistle while you work! The philosophy of don’t worry, be happy can be applied to so many of life’s situations. So lets just whistle a little tidy up song!

      4)    “A Whistle in the Desert” by Raffi Wartanian (Amazon) (Youtube)

      This is an upbeat guitar instrumental song with percussion. There is a dance-like quality to this song with a mixed meter feel. This is an interesting addition in this list of songs for kids and you can make a game of the different sections of this song!

      5)   “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” (Amazon) (I really like this version on YouTube)

      Bluegrass finger-picking banjo is fast, fast, fast! This will help get any clean up done with lightening speed! You can hear different instruments play besides the banjo so that is fun. Because it is a video song you can even see the instruments! Use the birds singing at the beginning as you “get ready” and then “GO!” when the music starts! Everyone will know it’s time to clean when this song plays.

      6)            “Dueling Banjos” (Amazon) (I love this version on YouTube)

      This is actually a duel between guitar and banjo. It of course speeds up and really takes off. Great for getting some serious cleaning done. If you listen to this cleaning song carefully you will hear the guitar lead the melody and the banjo echo! It’s lie they are having a conversation!

      7)            “Coconut Shuffle” (Amazon) (Youtube)

      Caribbean Steel Drum Band really lightens the mood! Caribbean music always makes me smile! Enjoy a little pineapple or orange juice when the job is done! Great “theme” song for kids!

      8)            “Una Giraffa di Stoffa” (Amazon) (Youtube)

      This Italian song is about a stuffed giraffe. Enjoy this dance-like song as you hear beautiful Italian lyrics. I love listening to the rolled r’s that English doesn’t have. Challenge each other to roll some r’s when the job is done! This challenge may end up with fits of laughter.

      9)           “Celebration” (Kool and the Gang) (Amazon) (Kids version on Youtube)

      This is a well-known song most adults know! But the YouTube video features kids from around the world. It’s fun to watch this video and see the kids play instruments and sing and then use it in your cleaning playlist! Fun song for kids and I especially love the video!

      10)            “Best Day of My Life” by Kidz Bop Kids (Amazon) (Youtube)

      What a great positive affirmation! I love positive energy when it comes to cleaning time. Your kids will be “ooh”-ing along with this one! What out. They may not want to stop cleaning.

      BONUS: “Happy” Kidz Bop Kids version (Amazon) (Youtube)

      This amazing and uplifting clapping song is sure to change the mood!

      Which Cleaning Songs are Your Favorite?

      You won’t find better music for cleaning up, and best of all you can create a playlist off YouTube for free! Or you can get some songs from Amazon and build out your playlist on your phone or device for a few bucks which has really helped me out!

      I hope you enjoy my songs for picking up toys, and best of all I hope they help make your cleaning go a little more smoothly! Be sure to share this page with anyone else who has kids and may need a few ideas for super fun music. Let me know which of these songs is your kids’ favorite.

      Leave me a comment below!

      *Affiliate links may be included so if you make a purchase, I may receive credit as an Amazon affiliate at no additional cost to you.

      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!

      online toddlers music class

      How to Encourage Children to Feel a Steady Beat

      What is a steady beat?

      A steady beat is a steady rhythm. A steady rhythm is the same pattern repeated every beat of music. We can feel it in our bodies when we hear songs playing. Children can feel steady beats through everyday activities and here are some ways parents can encourage children to feel a steady beat.

      You can check out my blog post about short and long rhythms here.

      Where can you find a steady beat?

      Clocks ticking, steady heartbeat, steady footsteps, steady slaps on a hand drum, steady tapping of fingers on a table all provide a steady beat.

      Let’s talk about a heart beat. It might be steady if you are resting, but will speed up when you are running or in a state of panic. A heartbeat is steady because it has the same pattern every time it beats.

      This steady beat is in our bodies whenever we move. Children will often play with toys or bang things to make their own steady beat. It is important for children to learn about steady beats because it helps them become more aware of rhythm and music. It also helps develop motor coordination skills, which is an important developmental milestone for young children.

      Children enjoy rattle toys, especially the ones that make noise when you shake them. They will often spend time shaking and banging these around on the floor to create their own steady beats. Another way children can feel steady beats is through pat-a-cake games or clapping along with music they hear playing in the car or at home.

      Can parents encourage children to feel a steady beat?

      Of course! Parents can encourage children to feel a steady beat in their body by doing any of these activities together. While doing them with a child, listen for the steady pulse within and then join in to create an even stronger steady beat.

      Sing!

      Singing is the easiest way parents can encourage children to feel a steady beat. You can sing at home, sing in the car, sing songs with movements and clapping. There are many ways and times parents can use singing to help kids feel a steady beat.

      For example, parents can use steady beats when changing their baby’s diaper. In order to clean a baby properly, you must swaddle them and then remove the cloth wiping down the area of the body. You will hear steady steady steady… as you do this with your child. While changing a diaper, parents should try singing a song like the ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ and see if they can get their child to sing along. Singing steady steady steady while changing a diaper is the steady beat that children will want to copy!

      This is one of many instances where parents can sing. Some other times parents can sing with children are when children wake up, get dressed, brush teeth or hair, wash hands, clean up, drive in he car, put on pajamas, etc.

      Read!

      Reading books with steady beats can be a great way for parents to encourage children to develop an awareness of steady beats in music. There are many children’s storybooks that focus on the steady beat by using words such as tick-tock, slap-slap or splash-splash. One book in particular that has great rhythm is Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton, which uses a steady BEAT when reading it aloud. Here is a link for a youtube reading where you can hear the reading… steady steady steady steady steady steady.

      I created this video for parents to help them learn how to encourage children to feel a steady beat.


      Play an Instrument!

      Many fun songs have a steady beat too! Here are some that you can sing and play an instrument along to:

      Old MacDonald had a Band (Raffi’s take on the traditional song)

      Twinkle twinkle little star (Lisa Loeb & Elizabeth Mitchell’s version which I love!)

      Row Row Row (Raffi – this version is perfect for babies and toddlers!)

      I’m A Little Teapot This video demonstrates whole body movements with each repetition getting faster. Kids are sure to love going faster! and faster!

      Baby Shark (This version by Super Simple Songs is MY FAVORITE and the favorite of every kiddo in my early childhood music classes!)

      What toys can parents use to encourage children to feel a steady beat?

      There are many instruments on the market such as  tambourines, maracas, shakers and rhythm instruments. Here are some instrument sets I recommend! Steady beats can be heard when shaking them or playing with them a certain way. Other creative ideas include having children build towers. You can build with steady beats until they feel tired…then the tower comes tumbling down! In this case, it’s not the objects themselves but how we interact with them that provide steady beats.

      It’s not the objects themselves
      but how we interact with them
      that provide steady beats.

      When you encourage children to feel steady beats by doing activities together you are helping to develop early literacy skills! This type of play helps prepare pre-readers and beginning readers with building vocabulary (kids who can express what they mean with words), listening ability, attention (to listen), and following directions, all which are essential for early learning and literacy development.

      Conclusion:

      Beats are steady rhythms that have a steady beat. They can be felt by moving our bodies in steady rhythmic motions or rhythmically tapping objects together. There are many toys on the market that make steady beat sounds and movements if you want them for your home or classroom. You can find steady beats in song lyrics and books too! The most important thing is to play with your child and sing steady beat songs together—and just feel a steady beat whenever possible! You’ll both enjoy the fun time spent exploring life with steady beats!

      What everyday items do you use to help teach your child about steady beats? Please leave me a comment below so I can hear from you!

      Note: This blog post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through the link I may make a small commission which helps support this blog, at no extra cost to you.

      If you’re looking for a new way to bond with your child, then I have the perfect class just for you! You will learn how to make music together and show them that they can do anything. Meet Beethoven, an adorable pancake loving sheep dog who loves to sing, dance, and play musical instruments. You will also see exactly how I work with stuffed animals to help toddlers feel a steady beat! This class are free of charge so don’t miss out on this opportunity today!

      Sign up for my newsletter and get this FREE music class to enjoy with your children!

      Scroll to Top