Singing is typically part of our bedtime routine and the other night it just kind of hit me how incredibly sweet it is that my kids ask me to sing to them.
See, singing is not typically something I do in front of people. I think I may have sung on a stage one time in my early 20’s but you’d have to ask my friends. Around 6th grade, I was in “Friday choir”, which was the choir for the kids who didn’t make the regular choir.
But, my kids don’t care that my voice is only good enough for Friday choir. Singing my kids to sleep at night is part of our ritual and is great bonding time.
Singing has a lot of educational and social benefits for kids. For kids learning to speak, it can help with lip and tongue movement. It also helps children learning things more quickly, like the alphabet. Information actually gets absorbed faster when it goes along to a tune. Is it even possible to recite the alphabet without singing it? Hmmm, not sure I can! Singing can also help with demonstrating emotion, even at a young age. For example, a child may sing a sad song if they are feeling down.
Singing can also be beneficial as the person doing the singing. Singing has been proven to relieve stress, improve your immune system, increase your pain threshold, improve lung function, help with grief, enhance memory in people with dementia, and even increase your IQ!
If you’re like me and could use a few tips to get the whole family singing more, here are a few ideas:
- Sing along with a book, CD, or record.
- Gather or make your own instruments and create your own family band.
- Ask your child to teach you a song they learned at school and follow their lead.
- Write down as many musical genres as you can think of and throw them in a hat. Pick one out and ask Alexa to play you a random song of that genre. Try to learn all the words as family!
- Make up silly songs. Try singing a line, and then having your child make up the next line.
- Give everyone in the family 10 minutes to write their own song. Sing it together as a group and pick the winner.
- Play musical chairs or do the limbo to your favorite songs and be sure to sing along.
- Play “spin the microphone”. Whoever it lands on sings a song that the others pick for them.
- Karaoke! You don’t need any special equipment; just find some songs on YouTube that show the lyrics.
- Create a dance floor and dress up in your best costumes. Have the kids put on a performance.
- Turn up the radio, roll down the windows, and sign in the car.