Clap your hands or stomp your feet if you know or remember any simple preschool songs…I know I can list at least 5 off the top of my head! My personal favorite as a child was “The Ants Go Marching.” Music is a wonderful and fun way to teach and practice many different speech and language skills, especially for early communicators.

Songs are engaging, interactive, and often involve movement. They are often repetitive, which allows for tons of practice. If you’re looking for silly and creative ways to work on speech sounds, language acquisition, social skills, and early concepts (just to name a few ideas!), look no further! Check out the many skills that can be targeted via music, and some song ideas below:

1. Imitation

Imitation is generally considered a pre-requisite skill for communication. Songs with gross motor movements are great to work on if you’re child is just learning to talk, so they can get the idea of watching others, then trying the same motions themselves. Once they start jabbering, move on to songs that target specific sounds they may be working on!

Song ideas:
  • I’m a Little Teapot (gross motor movements)
  • Wheels on the Bus (finger/hand movements)
  • Old MacDonald Had a Farm (animal sounds)

2. Vocabulary

Target both receptive and expressive language through these classics! But don’t feel limited to the original lyrics-feel free to add new verses to target new vocabulary.

Song ideas:
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (body parts)
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It (emotions + action words)

3. Early Concepts

Introduce early concepts that will help with preschool/kindergarten readiness:

Song ideas:
  • Alphabet Song (ABCs)
  • 5 Green and Speckled Frogs (Counting)
  • Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (Counting)

4. Rhyming (Phonological Awareness)

Songs that contain rhymes are excellent for indirectly targeting phonological awareness (the ability to identify and manipulate sounds in words), which helps to develop speech and literacy skills.

Song ideas:
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider

5. Social skills

Enjoying music with others helps develop a variety of social skills. Children can practice taking turns with different instruments, choosing songs, and being part of a group.

Song ideas:
  • Hello/Good Bye Song
  • Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?

6. Following Directions/Self Care
Song ideas:

Have fun singing, playing, and learning through music! Don’t forget the instruments 😉

Written By:
Marie Harper, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist