One of the most inspiring aspects of working with children is witnessing their learning and growth. At the beginning of the year, it’s important to assess what my students know, and where extra support would be beneficial. These fun and goal-oriented songs address basic academic skills that are essential for all little ones to learn!
Some of the goals addressed in these songs:
- Increase ability to count to five
- Improve shape identification and discrimination
- Increase ability to identify colors
- Improve ability to recite the alphabet
So, let’s start with the basics: the ABCs!
Everybody knows the traditional ABC song, but this version of “The Alphabet” is catchy and packs lots of information about the alphabet into the verses. This song details all the letters, as well as how many letters there are, and the difference between uppercase and lowercase letters.
Visuals can be added to complement the verses and can be used to target goals such as identify letters and sequencing. This updated version of “The Alphabet” is so catchy and appropriate for students who are beginning to learn the alphabet as well as those who are ready to begin reading and writing.
Another vital skill is counting! In “Jinglin’ High Five”, students have an opportunity to count up to five, as well as backwards from five, high five their friends and jingle their little hearts out. We love to use these wrist jingle bells so that their fingers are free, and they are then able to use their tiny digits to count to five.
When it’s appropriate, the number in each verse can be increased or decreased depending on the student’s needs. Students will also have an opportunity to high five staff or peers, increasing social interaction between the students. This song has it all: practicing counting and high fiving! What could be more motivating?
“Ring Around the Rainbow” is a fun song that targets children’s ability to identify colors. Handbells are different and interesting, and oh so tempting to play, but with simple lyrics, students will know exactly when it’s their turn to play.
This song can be used in a group setting or in an individual session, and handbells could be substituted for other colored instruments. Additional lyrics can be added to include multi-step directions (i.e. “red plays, and then green”), or each student may have multiple bells so that each child has to remain focused as there are more colors to think about. Talk about a challenge! But, with such a fun instrument, students are bound to wait and listen for their turn to play.
“Make A Shape” uses visual aides and scarves to improve shape identification. For each verse, students are identifying and creating shapes with their scarves. In this song, children are able to have a multi-sensory full body learning experience to learn and identify shapes.
Shape drums may also be used to reinforce shape identification and could even be used as a fun matching game (i.e. “what shape did I make with my scarf?”). The possibilities are endless and so much fun.
These four songs cover so much essential educational material necessary for young children. Between ABCs, counting, color identification, and creating and identifying shapes, with some practice, students are able to learn important skills in a motivating and musical way. Tell me in the comments below, which academic skills will you be addressing through music this school year?
You can listen to all of these songs in their entirety right here. Lyrics, chords, mp3, and instrumental track for these original songs are available for download. As is the case for all Listen & Learn Music creations, we invite you to adapt this song as needed to best serve your students and/or clients.