“The only thing better than singing is more singing.” - Ella Fitzgerald
Who hasn’t sung a nursery rhyme or lullaby to their kids? Who hasn’t nearly gone insane singing the same lullabies and nursery rhymes to their kids?
From Baby Shark to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, parents will hear a very small selection of the thousands of songs suitable for kids.
While there are thousands of them, we end up sticking to the same ones, nearly driving ourselves mad in the process. The first records of nursery rhymes and lullabies date back to the late 18th century so we’ve had plenty of time to write new ones.
The idea is that they’re educational, fun, or soothing. They also provide opportunities for parents to bond with their children. Singing creates a bond between the singer and the audience.
A child’s experience with music will stay with them for years so it’s important that when you sing to or with your child that you pick the right songs.
Lucky you! Here are our 10 favourite songs to sing with your child ad nauseam.
The Wheels on the Bus
The Wheels on the Bus was originally an American folk song which became popular because of its repetitive rhythm and how easy it is for a lot of people to sing, often on bus journeys.
It's also a great song to help children develop motor skills as the lyrics reference various actions and parts of the bus that children can mimic. Similarly, by combining actions with the music and lyrics, it makes the whole thing easier for little ones to learn.
Old MacDonald Had a Farm
Old MacDonald Had a Farm is a song that most children love to sing and much like The Wheels on the Bus, it uses repetitive lyrics, simple music, and actions or dance moves that can help with the learning process.
As the lyrics essentially list a bunch of common animals and the noises they make, your son or daughter can learn new vocabulary, concepts, and develop motor skills as they perform the actions from the song.
Of course, as children get older, they'll probably tire of the repetitive childish songs and want something with more lyrical complexity.
Let It Go
This relatively new song has become a modern classic. It appeared in Disney’s Frozen that came out in 2013. The song quickly became popular all over the world and a favourite amongst children.
In the film, Elsa builds herself a palace of ice as she sings about spending years repressing her emotions and her powers. It’s a powerful song that’s fun for parents and children alike.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
When you listen to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star you may also notice that the music sounds a lot like another song; The Alphabet Song. You can sing whichever one your baby prefers. For very young infants, the lyrics to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star are nicer but you can always change them when they start learning the alphabet.
While it's commonly thought that Mozart wrote the music, the song was initially a French children's song. However, Mozart's twelve variations on the song helped popularise the melody which would be later used for Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.
Here Comes the Sun
If you can't bring yourself to listen to another song for kids, it might be time for a change. Fortunately, The Beatles have a wonderful repertoire of great songs. Here Comes the Sun is a happy song that children and grown-ups alike can enjoy singing together.
Here Comes the Sun is also one of the most streamed songs ever on Spotify showing that there's still a lot of love for the Fab Four.
Jingle Bells is one of the most popular Christmas carols and if the kids don’t learn it from you, they’re bound to learn it somewhere. While September might be a little early to start singing it, you don't need to make excuses for your love of Christmas in November, especially if your kids don't know the song.
While it’s not a song to send the kids off to sleep, it is a fun song to sing during the holidays. Jingle Bells is a Christmas classic and also a great song for singing together. It’s a simple melody with simple lyrics that anyone can learn.
There are only a few songs that can boast this.
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The song Hakuna Matata is one of the catchiest Disney songs around and was written by Elton John and Tim Rice. In the movie, it's sung by Timon the meerkat and Pumba the warthog upon meeting Simba.
It's a simple and jaunty number that anyone can enjoy singing and includes a good message about optimism that young children should learn to take on board.
London Bridge Is Falling Down
London Bridge Is Falling Down is a traditional nursery rhyme that many of will be familiar with from our childhood. The song has existed since the mid-18th century almost 100 years before Tower Bridge (not the bridge from the song) was built. There have been several bridges known as London Bridge but Tower Bridge was never one of them.
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There are various sets of the lyrics for the song, but the most common and simplest are probably the ones you'll want to sing with your children. As with older nursery rhymes, some of the other lyrics can get a bit grim!
Since the children might spend a lot of time watching Disney films, they'll probably want to listen to music from them, too. You're Welcome from Disney's Moana is a fun song and though the expression is used arrogantly in the film, it's a good chance for you to emphasize good manners.
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
In terms of nursery rhymes and children's songs, Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes is relatively modern. It takes the music from elsewhere and lists off several bodyparts that children usually point to as they sing. This song is both popular in the English-speaking world and with young students learning English around the world.
This list is far from exhaustive and there are plenty of others so if you find any that you enjoy and work for you, go for it! The right song will guarantee a good night’s sleep or a wonderful moment between you and your child. Sleep tight!
If your child would like to learn how to sing, you should consider getting them a private tutor from Superprof! There are three main types of tutorial available from the tutors on the platform: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials. Each comes with advantages and disadvantages so you must think carefully about which will work for your child.
Face-to-face tutorials are usually the most costly tutorials but they're also the most cost-effective. With just the student and the tutor, every minute of the session is spent focusing on them and their singing. Tutors can also tailor the lessons to the student, what they want to learn, and how they like to learn. The extra work the tutor puts into planning the sessions is often reflected in the price but the results often speak for themselves.
For those on a budget, group tutorials are a great option. Your child could attend sessions with other children and while the tutor won't be able to tailor the sessions to them, they will be able to benefit from peer learning, where they help one another to improve.
Finally, if there aren't any suitable singing tutors near you, you can always look online. As long as you have a decent webcam, microphone, and internet connection, tutors from all over the world can teach your child how to sing online. Since they don't have to travel and can schedule more sessions a week, they tend to charge less than face-to-face tutors.
Don't forget that many of the tutors on the platform also offer the first lesson for free. You can use these sessions to try out different tutors to see which one is right for your child! It's important that they get along with their tutor, after all.
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