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Children who develop a love and appreciation of music earlier in life may go on to do better academically according to several unique studies released over the last few years. What’s more, children in pre-K love singing fun songs, and the experience of memorizing the words, and singing them in tune, is an excellent lesson in camaraderie. Here are some songs that are perfect for singing in the pre-K classroom – and at home.
Getting kids moving is important, especially in today’s digital age where many seem content to learn from a screen rather than through the world around them. There are all kinds of songs designed especially for small children that incorporate movement, including the infamous Tony Chestnut song, Toe, Knee, Chest, Nut, which invites kids to move along with the lyrics and point to the corresponding body parts (nut, in this case, meaning head.) Preschool kids also respond well to the Hokey Pokey, which not only gets them moving, but also helps them learn to differentiate between left and right.
Laughter, much like art and music, is a subtle but effective way to bridge cultural gaps, language barriers, and more. Fortunately, many of the best songs that are perfect to learn in the pre-K classroom were designed to garner everything from a simple giggle to a full-on belly laugh. Silly is the way to go here, and there are several super-silly options to consider. One of the best is Boom Chicka Boom, a classic that utilizes various tongue twisters and plays on words that are sure to put a smile on kids’ faces – and on yours too. You might also try On Top of Spaghetti, a play on the classic On Top of Old Smokey.
There’s a good chance kids already sing many songs of praise in Sunday school and children’s church, and they may have even memorized some hymns from Sunday Mass. However, continuing to sing His praises through the week is a great way to reinforce apostolic values in the classroom. There are many different options, but Jesus Loves the Little Children is a classic that is perfect for pre-K kids, as is This Little Light of Mine. For an action-filled song, Father Abraham is a great way to learn and to get those wiggles out at the same time.
Finally, sometimes the best way to teach small children is through the power of song, and there is certainly no shortage of educational options. Some of the best include If You’re Wearing Red Today, which encourages kids to not only learn their colors, but also become more aware of themselves and others around them. Shape Up is another one that encourages kids to differentiate shapes and get active at the same time. As they sing, they’ll use their arms to draw the shapes in the air.
Pre-K education should combine learning with fun in a way that both engages kids and provides them with a solid foundation for their futures. Often, there’s no better way to teach and entertain than with music, and each of these songs, along with many, many others, provide a perfect for way for learning, fun and play.