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Remembering Nature Songs
Think back to your childhood and name three of your favorite songs. It probably didn't take long for you to come up with the memorable verses. Songs become ingrained in who we are as we grow, learn and experience life. Singing, rhyming, and chanting are an ideal venue for teaching young kids about the world, from the weather to complex science concepts. Sing songs about nature with your toddler or preschooler to help him understand the changing of the seasons, animal behavior, or the differences between warm and cold weather.
Move It and Groove It!
Adding motions to children's songs offers many benefits. It allows kids to practice and refine both fine motor skills and large motor skills, it helps them remember the words to the song and it gives them an opportunity to burn off physical energy while singing. Consider a simple nature song like "What's the Weather?" Add expression and movement by holding your hands out, palms up, while singing the question, "What's the weather?" Then, as you go through the different types of weather (rainy, windy, cloudy, sunny) use hand motions to signify each type. Show rain by wiggling your fingertips in front of you from high to low. Show wind by waving your arms wildly in front of you. Form a fluffy cloud with your hands and show the sun by bending your arms over your head, creating a large circle.
Take it On the Road
Most people listen to music, sing, and even dance a bit while traveling in the car. Turn everyday commutes into learning opportunities for young ones by singing in the car. A rainy day could inspire a round of "Lemon Drops." As the seasons change or are in full-force. "The Bear Hunt" is an opportunity to teach your child about hibernation. Keep in mind that you don't want to force any singing on your child. Let her take the lead by choosing a song. Kids love repetition, so if you're about to explode because your child wants to sing "Autumn Fires" for the hundredth time, grin and bear it--she's learning!
The best learning is engaging, fun, and interactive. Don't be shy as you belt out your favorite tunes with your children. These are the songs they will remember when asked to recall a favorite childhood song.