We sing them to sleep, we belt out songs as we dance together, we make up crazy songs about their toys, and we repeat nursery rhymes that we remember from our childhoods. We teach them the alphabet through song and we create wonderful, warm memories through music. Grandma singing with grandchildren is magical.
I have this goofy song I made up for my grandchildren, which really is just one sentence repeated 4 times … “We’re singing, singing, singing”. I am obviously no Bruce Springsteen, but as babies, my grandkids recognized it and smiled whenever I sang it to them. It has become known as “Grammie’s Song” and my 23 year old son believes it to be the worst sounding song on the planet (thank goodness I don’t have to sing it to him!).
As a Grade 3 teacher, I sang a lot in my classroom with my students. As a grandma I sing to my grandkids all the time (usually off-key). It seems an enjoyable and natural way to play together.
But singing has other benefits than just being incredibly fun …
- singing is simply one of the best ways for developing the sound awareness skills that are critical to learning to read successfully
- because songs are filled with rhymes, sound patterns, and alliteration, they actually celebrate the sounds of language. Children become aware of sounds and the way we can manipulate them.
- it is fantastic for early language development and creativity
- it develops a child’s memory through repetition of lyrics and actions
- singing expands their vocabularies
- it helps to teach a sense of rhythm and beat
With all these great benefits, we should all be singing with our grandkids more often.
One fun way to help with that is to create a SINGING BASKET.
A singing basket is simply any basket or box that you pull out when the grandchildren come to visit, and inside are objects that correspond to a song or nursery rhyme that you sing together.
Here is a picture of a singing basket that I put together.
Here are the objects in my basket and the song that gets sung when the child chooses that object:
- stuffed dog – “How Much Is That Doggy in the Window?”
- plastic snowflake – “Here Comes Suzy Snowflake”
- toy boat – “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”
- toy train – “Morningtown Ride”
- sheep – “Mary Had a Little Lamb”
- dragon – “Puff the Magic Dragon”
- camel – “Alice’s Camel”
What you put in the singing basket depends on the songs or nursery rhymes you are learning with your little Celine Dionne or Josh Groban. Look around your home, at garage sales, and at thrift stores for inexpensive items to put inside the basket.
I would keep the objects and songs you sing the same for a period of time, since there is great benefit in repeating lyrics and melodies over and over again so that the song becomes part of the child’s memory and part of their childhood. You can add a new object, and when your curious grandchild picks it up, you can introduce and sing the new song with them.
So gung ho grandmas, the bottom line is sing away! Create a singing basket to use with your grandkids and it can help you fill the house with songs and laughter! Sing traditional songs and nursery rhymes, teach them your own favorite rock or pop songs, and make up songs together.
What are your favorite songs that you sing with your grandchildren … share them in the comments below!
And it seriously doesn’t matter how badly you sing … no matter what my 23 year old son says. A grandma singing with grandchildren is making a joyful noise!
If you like the idea of a singing basket, please share it with other grandmas!