Use These Musical Activities to Develop Children's Language Skills

bigstockphoto_Happy_Mom_1646790From hearing those heart-melting coo’s and goo’s to interpreting first words and celebrating full sentences, the adults in a child’s life play an important role in enhancing a child’s language development.  Music and music activities provide a simple and fun way not only to bond with your child and inspire a lifelong love of learning, but also to encourage and greatly enhance language development too.

Here are three music activities that you can use to develop children’s language skills:

Name (or label!) that Movement

This one’s easy, but maybe so obvious that we forget how important it is.  Whether moving to recorded music or singing a favorite song with movement, label the movement.  Many children’s songs include movement words right in them, but you can also repeat that word or emphasize that movement word.  For example, before singing a song about marching, introduce the song by saying, “March, march, march, march” as you march.
Dancing with a recording gives many opportunities for labeling movement words while also exploring a variety of movement.  Sliding, twirling, bouncing, tiptoeing, zig zagging, stomping, galloping… wonderful words to learn and oh-so-fun as a whole-body experience!

Back-and-Forth We Go!

This echo game is a great time-filler – in the car, waiting in line, transition times, etc.  It also works well with words or rhymes.  Simply say a word or phrase from a rhyme and wait for your child to repeat it.  You can even play with silly nonsense words.  Once you get into the back-and-forth rhythm, it can get really fun.  Simpler and slower for little ones; more complex and faster for older children.

Pick a Song and Sing-Along

There’s nothing much better for enhancing language development than singing.  The flow of the music helps the flow of words, and the powerful combination of melody and words, especially songs with repetitive phrases, gives children exposure to and practice with forming words.  Yes, they are the songs that get stuck in your head, but some favorite children’s songs that are especially good for language development include songs like:

  • The Wheels on the Bus
  • The Muffin Man
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It
  • I Like to Eat Apples and Bananas
  • Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush
  • Baa Baa Black Sheep
  • A Ram Sam Sam
Where Music and Learning Play
Find out more about how Kindermusik can fill a child’s heart – and vocabulary! – with music at

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