Hands up if you like to sing throughout the day (e.g. in the shower, in your car during your commute to or from work, school, etc.) If not, here let me get you started – Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’ has been playing on our XM radio 80’s station quite a bit lately and J, R, and I enjoy boppin’ to the beat of the tune in our car:
“Material Girl” – Madonna
I think they’re O.K.
If they don’t give me proper credit
I just walk away
But they can’t see the light, that’s right
‘Cause the boy with the cold hard cash
Is always Mister Right, ’cause we are
And I am a material girl
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl…[continued]
Note: the lyrics leave much to be desired so feel free to pop another tune in your head!
Great!! And do you also have a song or rhyme for a special part of each day? Well, it seems one of my daughters has recently decided to make this a daily practice for our family. Not only will she insist on rhyming everyone’s names (e.g. Alex Balex, Rosie Posie, Silly Lily) but she delights in listening to all sorts of rhymes throughout the day that we manage to create (I will spare you these particular rhymes as they are probably only funny to us, potentially embarassing, and therefore best kept in the family).
I have to admit, singing and rhyming more regularly has been a pretty fun experience for us all. When J and R were just a toddler and infant respectively, I did come up with a few of my own made up rhymes or short songs just to giggle our way though transitions such as a diaper change, meal, bath, or attempt to get out the door. On days where I was less light-hearted and didn’t, things always seemed to be that much more challenging and my patience with the children would be lost that much faster. In fact, this is still the case even now!
At the end of the day, the girls will often request that I say a special verse, song and/or prayer (especially just after turning the lights out). A favourite verse is Star Light, Star Bright ever since we put up some glow in the dark stars just above their beds.
Star light, star bright, The first star I see tonight; I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight.
Photo credit courtesy of Jia Hao, TWAN
For the different seasons and weather there are some great rhymes as well. We have a lovely resident robin who visits our front lawn each day and sings ever so sweetly at just a bit before 5am. This is naturally a time when most of the family should still be asleep, but I may or may not be (depending on how the pregnancy insomnia is going that night or on which kid decides to pile into our bed before sunrise).
Photo courtesy of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Turdus-migratorius-002.jpg
So in honour of our friendly, little Robin (and courtesy of J’s wonderful teacher who reminded us of this song in her song and poetry reading book), here’s what we’ve been singing lately:
Robin in the rain,
Such a saucy fellow.
Robin in the rain,
Mind your socks of yellow.
Running in the garden on your nimble feet,
Digging for your dinner with your long strong beak.
Robin in the rain,
You don’t mind the weather
Showers always make you gay.
Bet the worms are wishing you would stay at home,
Robin on a rainy day — don’t get your feet wet,
Robin on a rainy day!
Lyrics can be found here as well: http://www.grandparents.com/gp/content/activitiesandevents/sing-alongs/article/robin-in-the-rain.html#ixzz20CANeDUz
What about songs inspired by what you do or see that day? On an expedition to the local bank machine the other day, we came across a bunch of cyclists riding bicycles built for two, which of course brought the following song Daisy Bell by Henry Dacre in 1892 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daisy_Bell) to mind:
Photo courtesy of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Daisybell.jpg
- Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do,
- I’m half crazy all for the love of you.
- It won’t be a stylish marriage —
- I can’t afford a carriage,
- But you’d look sweet upon the seat
- Of a bicycle built for two.
- -Henry Dacre, 1892
Singing and rhyming with your children throughout the day may not only provide you with laughter and enjoyment, but may actually improve your health and well-being according to this article by Alice Wignall:
Singing can also increase your children’s language development, academic performance and emotional well being. According to an article by Amelia Hill published in the Guardian (May 08, 2011):
Singing traditional lullabies and nursery rhymes to babies and infants before they learn to speak, is “an essential precursor to later educational success and emotional wellbeing”, argues Blythe in a book. “Song is a special type of speech. Lullabies, songs and rhymes of every culture carry the ‘signature’ melodies and inflections of a mother tongue, preparing a child’s ear, voice and brain for language.” Blythe says in her book, The Genius of Natural Childhood, to be published by Hawthorn Press, that traditional songs aid a child’s ability to think in words. She also claims that listening to, and singing along with rhymes and songs uses and develops both sides of the brain. “Neuro-imaging has shown that music involves more than just centralised hotspots in the brain, occupying large swathes on both sides,” she said.
For the full article click here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/may/08/singing-children-development-language-skills?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETTXT9038
Here’s to more sing-song, and carrying on thoughout your day today!