I recently shared this post over on my Instagram page all about how I use the song Frère Jacques during play and daily routines to support early language skills. I love using songs to support early language skills, and Frère Jacques is perfect because it has a simple, recognisable tune.
As a result of the lovely response that I got to this post, I decided to share a few more examples of lyrics for you. I created a freebie that has 8 songs to support early language, all sung to the tune of Frère Jacques. You can grab the freebie from my Freebie Library (it’s a password protected page, but you can access this by signing up to my email newsletter here).
Why Use Songs for Early Language?
Using songs in your sessions is an easy way to embed early language strategies. Strategies such as emphasising, repetition, and linguistic mapping are all reinforced with the nature of the songs. Singing them regularly and in the same situations means that they become verbal routines too, which supports language skills.
There are other language strategies you can use alongside them as well, such as:
Pausing- after you have sung the song a few times, pause before the “good bits” to see if the child fills in the gap. For example, in the ‘Wash Your Hands’ song, pause before the final “wash” in the line “wash, wash, [pause] wash… wash your hands”.
Be Animated- while singing, be sure to use exaggerated actions and voices to support the child’s attention and engagement.
Gestures/Baby Sign- these songs can all be used with simple actions and gestures (examples are given in the freebie, remember to sign up for it here). Gestures/signing supports the child’s understanding of words, and they may begin using signs/gestures before they begin using words.
Using Songs During Play
Most of the songs I sing are to the tune of Frère Jacques. The lyrics may vary, depending on the activity and child’s ability. The songs repeat the target words and are often accompanied by actions, which makes them ideal for early language learners.
Here’s an example of the song I sing each and every time we build a tower. This works whether you’re using blocks, LEGO or stacking cups!
Using Songs During Daily Routines
Another great way to target language skills is during daily routines. By their very nature, they happen multiple times a day, every day; so they are a great way to target early language.
Here’s an example of a song you can sing every time you wash hands.
I hope this post has given you some ideas for how you can use songs to support early language skills. Remember, you can grab the freebie from my Freebie Library Get the password by signing up to my email newsletter here. I’d love to know if you use these songs in your sessions, be sure to tag me in your posts on Instagram so I can see them!
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