Things to Do

Find fun activities to do with your child

Singing

Singing helps your child hear the sounds in words and build their vocabulary.

Singing Tips

  • Add songs, rhyming and language games to your activities throughout the day. Books that celebrate sounds and noises all around give young children practice in listening. Books of simple, familiar songs are good choices for young listeners.
  • When you march, dance or sing together, you break up words into smaller sounds. Add actions as you sing a song or recite a poem. Actions help children break down language into separate words and sounds.
  • Many collections of nursery rhymes, or Mother Goose rhymes, can be found in your library. When choosing nursery rhyme books, a one-rhyme book is ideal for babies, while one rhyme per page works well for toddlers. Preschoolers are ready for more rhymes.
  • Sing throughout the day and make up your own silly songs to introduce new vocabulary. New words can be easier to learn when they rhyme or are put to music. Many activities can be sung to the tune of “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush”.
  • Sing songs or rhymes in the language that is most comfortable for you. Young children don't need to understand the words for these moments together to be learning experiences. Songs and music also help your child learn rhythm.
  • Add clapping, tapping, drumming, bouncing, walking, marching, jumping and dancing activities to language. Say a word to your child and ask him to count the number of sounds he hears, and show the number by holding up his fingers, jumping up and down, or clapping.
  • Singing songs is an excellent way to help children hear the smaller, different sounds in words because each syllable in a word often gets its own musical note. Don't worry about how you sound- from birth, your child loves to hear your voice.
  • Rhyming helps your child understand that words are made of smaller parts. Nursery rhymes are usually short and easy to remember. They make ideal portable "playthings" for you and your child. Sing, read or say rhymes at any time- at bath or change time, while eating or before bed.

Six skills that get your child ready for reading

Liking books

Children who enjoy books will want to learn to read.

Hearing words

Hearing the smaller sounds in words helps children sound out written words.

Knowing words

Knowing many words helps children recognize written words and understand what they read.

Telling a story

Learning to tell a story helps children develop skills in thinking and understanding.

Seeing words

Familiarity with printed language helps children feel comfortable with books and reading.

Knowing letters

Knowing the names and sounds of letters helps children sound out words.