Mozart composed his first song at age five. While Baby isn’t quite old enough to start writing original music, she can still appreciate a catchy tune. she is also young enough to love just about anything that you sing or play for her.
Whether you love singing or your vocal cords are rustier than a bike in the rain, it’s worth considering learning some songs that you and Baby can sing together. Singing is a near-perfect toddler activity because you don’t need any supplies, you can do it on the go, and there are almost infinite song options. Some of the silliest and most engaging songs have special elements that require a little creativity from you and Baby, so put your imagination caps on.
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
This is a good one for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s just a fun song that’s easy to remember. But the really special thing about “Row, row, row your boat” is that it’s meant to be sung in a round, meaning that after one person sings the first line and begins the second, a new person comes in and starts singing the first line. This might be a little confusing for Baby at first (there are adults who have trouble with it), but figuring it out can be a fun learning experience, and an interesting challenge.
This song is fun because it can change every time you sing it. “Old MacDonald had a farm, e-i-e-o. And on that farm he had a ______.” What did he have? A pig, a cow, a dinosaur? You and Baby can take turns choosing animals and showing what sounds they make. “With a roar roar here, and a roar roar there, here a roar, there a roar, everywhere a roar roar!” For a fun puzzle, tell Baby that Old MacDonald had a fox, and see what sound she comes up with.
The Wheels on the Bus
As we’ve just determined, naming things is fun. “The Wheels on the Bus” doesn’t necessarily give you as much creative license as “Old MacDonald,” but the song is designed to let you name things on the bus (like the wheels) and describe what they’re doing (going ’round and ’round). That doesn’t mean you can’t also include any other things you and Baby can imagine being on the bus. Could there be a dog on the bus? Sure! Could there be a whale? Why not? The sky’s the limit for the bus passengers in this song.
This one comes with a warning: if you teach Baby this song, there’s about a 60% chance you’ll hear it every day for a calendar year. It’s just the risk you run for such a catchy song. However, “Yellow Submarine” is a classic, and the chorus lends itself well to being a song for kids. You can sub in your or Baby‘s favorite color and live in a purple submarine, green submarine, or blue submarine. Bring along a few boat toys for an immersive song experience.
Use these song shake-up techniques for other classics like “The Farmer in the Dell,” “Humpty Dumpty,” “Jack and Jill,” “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” “B-I-N-G-O,” and “Pop Goes the Weasel.” Soon enough, you’ll have a professional silly singer on your hands.