Singing is a great tool for developing language and literacy skills in your children. Making a ritual of singing during daily routines also adds fun to tasks that children may not always see as fun (diaper changing/going potty, putting on their shoes or coat, etc.) and it strengthens the connection between you and your children. How many of us sing, “Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere. Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share” when helping our littles put away their toys? (I bet that song is now stuck in your head!)
Routines are practices in place to help children prepare for regular happenings. For example, the morning routine is to have breakfast, get dressed, and brush teeth and hair; the sleep routine is to have a bath, brush teeth, read a story, and off to bed. This repetition allows children to develop a predictable schedule—to know what to expect each day.
Rituals aid in learning and reinforcing new skills. The purpose is connection with your children, strengthening your relationship through small practices—a goodnight song, or asking “what was your favourite part of the day,” for example.
I imagine most of us share a ritual from our own childhood with our children—a cherished memory of the connection we had with our parents, and which built the foundation for the relationships we now have—to become part of our daily routine and enrich our journey with our own families.
A nightly ritual I have included in our bedtime routine is a goodnight song. I have sung it to my daughter since she was an infant, and she now looks forward to this special part of our day. I made up the song by changing the words to “Hey Jude” by John Lennon, and it goes something like this:
Hey you, it’s time for bed
Go to sleep now, ‘cuz you’re so tired
Remember, to kiss your mama goodnight
And have sweet dreams
To wake up happy (happy, happy, happy)
Hey you, just say good night
Sleep will come soon, just close your eyes
Remember to hug your mama real tight
And that I love you
You are amazing
So, try adding a little song to your routines and see what happens! There are all kinds of songs and rhymes for children on YouTube, or you can make up your own. Comment by sharing the rituals that are a part of your family!
C.O.W. bus staff are excited and ready to sing, play, and share books with all the families who visit the bus when it’s in their neighbourhood! Check our website for locations and schedules for the C.O.W. bus and other exciting programs offered by the Centre for Family Literacy!