Music is such a powerful and flexible tool, as we’ve witnessed firsthand both through our own life experiences and the work we do with children. Most of us have learned so many things through music…I mean, Schoolhouse Rock, anyone?!
I learned so much through music and I love seeing my clients and students learn things through music as well. Children latch onto music very quickly, so it is the perfect vehicle to teach important skills, like safety rules.
With the weather getting warmer every day, children will be playing outside, riding their bikes, and swimming in the pool. With all of these activities come rules that children need to learn and follow to keep themselves safe while having fun in the sun!
Some of the goals addressed in these songs:
- Increase safety awareness
- Increase verbalization
- Improve object identification
- Increase knowledge related to the swimming pool
“Riding My Bike” details the most important safety measures of riding a bike, including wearing a helmet, wearing shoes, being cautious of speed, and more. To break up the important rules, the chorus is fun and catchy, and my kiddos have loved singing along with it!
My clients and students had fun creating movements for the keywords in the chorus, while I encouraged them to stay focused and learn the safety rules for biking during the verses. When presenting “Riding My Bike”, I use visual aides with lyrics printed on them so that all of the participants had visuals, lyrics, and the melody to assist in the learning process.
After my clients and students are familiar with the lyrics, I fade away the additional support, and encourage them to sing the lyrics or keywords of each verse. Once we’ve sung the song, I ask the children to tell me the safety rules, and I assess how well they are learning the important information in the verses.
“In the Swimming Pool” presents the important rules to follow at the pool, and just like “Riding My Bike”, also has catchy lyrics that remind us of all the fun we can have! Since movements to mimic swimming are so fun and easy to do, my kiddos are SO motivated to pretend to swim.
A fun adaptation that my clients and students have loved is creating a drawing or a list of the safety rules they remembered from the song. The creative way they demonstrate the rules is so wonderful to see, and participants are motivated to show their drawings to their peers, which creates many more opportunities for exposure to the safety rules!
Creating more personal lyrics for individual children is something that can be done with either song. Social story songs can be effective tools for not only the music therapist or music teacher, but also parents and caregivers who are more likely to be at the pool or riding a bike with the child. Now that is maximizing the power of the music!
These two songs pack a safety punch for the warm months ahead, and demonstrate how beneficial music can be! For so many young children, safety rules are boring and hard to remember, but with motivating and goal-oriented songs such as these, learning the rules can be a breeze!
I’d love to hear from you: which skills have you taught your clients and students through music?
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 these songs as needed to best serve your students and/or clients.