A blog on festive singing and rhyming in the Early Years!
A blog by Trish Boylan, Business Development Coordinator; Qualified Teacher
As anybody with experience in the early years knows, songs and singing are a fantastic way to capture the attention and imagination of young children. However more than simply entertaining a group, songs provide children with patterns and repetition they can access and understand. The repetitive nature of the songs sung in early years helps them to be learnt easily and contributes towards developing children’s listening and attention skills. What’s more, the repetition encourages children to use their own language skills to sing along with something they can quickly become confident in, through hearing repeatedly.
Singing together is an effective way to encourage all children – including those with communication difficulties or English as an additional language – to be part of a group and to develop their language skills. Using actions to accompany the songs helps children learn kinaesthetically; by giving them a movement to connect with the words they are saying, they can start to learn what words mean through association.
With Christmas around the corner there are so many opportunities to involve singing in the classroom and at home. Some of the most popular Christmas songs are especially repetitive too and can help encourage the children’s confidence to participate; Jingle bells, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, The 12 Days of Christmas to name just a few.
The festive period is a great chance to encourage fun, shared social experience through singing Christmas songs together. There are so many opportunities to link to cross-curricular learning too! Just through singing Christmas songs, children can learn about speech patterns and rhyming words (e.g. Jingle Bells), counting and history (the 12 days of Christmas). Singing together is inclusive and helps build confidence as the children take part in a shared activity in a safe, enjoyable environment.
Looking beyond Christmas, I CAN’s Chatterbox Challenge offers children a singing opportunity with a difference. Chatterbox Challenge gives little ones the chance to win a visit from Ben and Holly and win up to £2000 for their Early Years setting, whilst raising important funds to help children who are struggling to communicate. Although the official Chatterbox challenge week is February 9th-15th the event can be held at any time; perhaps even with a festive theme!