Using Preschool Songs To Get Your Kids To Listen

Most parents and teachers are aware that young children love to hear and sing along to preschool songs. However, the secret that many parents aren’t aware of is the potential that songs have for getting your young children to pay attention, listen better, and follow directions more often.

As parents, we know that pulling a three year old away from what they are doing in order to get them to clean their room or eat lunch can be a tug of war experience, usually involving a lot of whys and ending in a “Because I said so!”

Yet, young children love music and singing, which they associate with playing and having fun. So, wouldn’t be a good idea to put the chores your preschooler dislikes to music and turn it into a game? Yes, it is a good idea and, best of all it really works.

Now let me continue by telling you that I have a horrible singing voice. I have been tossed out of Karaoke clubs and I’ve seen my teenage sons grimace when I sing along with the radio in my car. Even with all that against me, my preschooler loves to hear me sing. In fact, I would probably lose my voice if I sang as much as she asks me to. So don’t let the belief (or event the fact) that you can’t sing stop you from using this method.

How do you use preschool songs to get your young child to pay attention? Start by announcing that it is time to do such-and-such. For example it is time to pick up toys. At this point you can expect your child to either ignore you completely due to the fact they are engrossed in something else, or to get up and start slowly and half-heartedly picking up the toys. I’m sure you know what I mean. Those times when you’ve “helped” pick up half the room in the time it takes your child to put away one book.

By singing a little song while you pick up the toys, your child will feel more like you are playing a game than doing a chore. It won’t make the entire process painless but it will help keep your child on track while picking up while demonstrating that anything, even ordinary everyday tasks, can be made fun with a little effort. Not only will the toys be picked up but also your child will learn an important lesson about finding fun in life.

This is the song I sing while my three-year-old and I pick up her toys. We also adapt it to fit any pickup task.

Now we need to pick up our toys, pick up our toys, pick up our toys

Now we need to pick up our toys, pick up our toys, pick up our toys

We put our books away one by one, one by one, one by one,

We put our blocks away one by one, one by one, one by one

Now our job is getting done, getting done, getting done

Now our job is getting done, getting done, one by one.

When everything is nearly picked up, I change the words to:

Now our job is almost done, almost done, almost done

Now our job is almost done, we did it one by one.

As you can see from this little ditty, the songs (or sing-songs as they really are) don’t need to be complicated or even rhyme very well. In fact, the simpler the songs, the easier it will be for your child to remember and the more fun they will have being able to sing along. All you really need is a little singsong that will capture your child’s attention for the length of the task.

Singsongs can also be used for making meal times, bath times, and bedtimes more fun. The only important thing to remember is that the songs should be the same or very similar from day to day. That way your child will come to know the songs and they will have the consistency that is so important at this tender age. So to sum up, use preschool songs to make ordinary daily tasks entertaining, make they simple and keep the same ones each day and above all don’t worry about whether you sing well or not, your child loves you (and your voice) just the way you are.

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