How To Connect With Your Child Through Music

Want a fun way to connect with your child while helping them grow? Try music! No musical experience is required to enjoy these simple, fun-filled songs!

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introduction

I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning. – Plato

Music is more than just a universal language. It’s a powerful and fun way to learn. Parents who bring music – in any form – to their children are doing important work for their development.

Here are a few of the many ways music impacts your child:

  • Enhances social & emotional development
  • Improves brain power & memory functions
  • Helps with language development
  • Develops motor skills
  • Builds confidence
  • Provides sensory development
  • Promotes parent/child bonding

It doesn’t matter if you grew up with music or if you don’t have a musical bone in your body – YOU CAN STILL MAKE MUSIC WITH YOUR CHILD!

They’ll love making music with you, whether you can sing in tune or not!

RELATED: Why Music Is Important For Babies And Toddlers

how to make music with your child

This is a collection of 30 rhythms and rhymes that are fun but don’t require musical experience. They can be sung or spoken.

If you’d like all the songs in one easy-to-reference book, grab yours for free here. This book also includes how to do all the actions to each song.

Some of these songs require your child to be on your lap. Others encourage movement for both of you. And all provide a great way to connect with each other and even elicit a few giggles.

But don’t stop there! You can sing these songs anywhere.

  • In front of a mirror
  • In the car
  • On your lap while waiting at the doctor’s office
  • At bedtime
  • The options are endless!

Are you ready to get started?

Remember, your child loves you and isn’t judging your musical ability. So go for it! And know that you’re providing an important and fun way for them to grow!

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lap bounces

1. GOING FOR A RIDE

This is the way the baby rides,
A teeter teeter teeter teeter.
This is the way the gentleman rides,
A totter totter totter totter.
This is the way the cowboy rides,.
A gallop a gallop a gallop a gallop.
This is the way the farmer rides,
A rickity rickity rickity rickity
Rickity rickity roo!

2. UNCLE JOHN

Daddy, mommy and Uncle John
Rode to the doctor one by one.
Daddy fell off,
Mommy fell off,
And Uncle John rode on and on
And on and on and on and on…

3. HORSEY RIDE

This ‘the way we ride the horsey,
Ride the horsey,
Ride the horsey.
This ‘the way we ride the horsey,
Early in the mor-nin’.

4. GETTING BUTTER

I went to town to get some butter.
And when I got there,
I fell in the gutter!

5. TRIT, TROT

Trit, trot to Boston.
Trit, trot to Lynn.
Take care, Baby.
Don’t fall IN!

6. IN THE ELEVATOR

Let’s go riding in the elevator
Let’s go riding in the elevator.
First floor…Second floor…
Third floor…Fourth floor…
Fifth floor…
Doooowwwwwnn!

7. GIDDY UP HORSEY

Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up horsey.
Giddy-up, giddy-up, go, go, go.
Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up horsey.
Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up Whoa!

8. THE GRAND OL’ DUKE OF YORK

The Grand Old Duke of York 
He had ten thousand men.
He marched them up to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again.

And when they’re up, they’re up.
And when they’re down, they’re down.
And when they’re only halfway up,
They’re neither up nor down!

9. ICKA BICKA SODA CRACKER

Icka bicka soda cracker,
Icka bicka boo.
Icka bicka soda cracker,
Up goes you! 

Icka bicka soda cracker, 
Icka bicka boo.
Icka bicka soda cracker,
I love you!

10. TOAST IN THE TOASTER

I’m toast in the toaster.
I’m getting very hot!
Tick, tock,Tick, tock,
Up I pop!

11. Walk Old joe

Walk Old Joe, walk Old Joe,
You walk better
Than any horse I know.

Walk Old Joe, walk Old Joe,
You walk better
Than any horse I know.

Whoa, Joe!  
WHOA, Joe!

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Finger Play

12. Open, shut them

Open, shut them, open, shut them,
Give a little clap, clap, clap.
Open, shut them, open, shut them,
Put them in your lap, lap, lap.

Creep them, creep them,
Creep them, creep them,
Right up to your chin, chin, chin.
Open up your little mouth,
But do not put them in!

OPTIONAL EXTENSION
Loud and quiet, loud and quiet,
Louder louder…shh! Quiet.
Loud and quiet, loud and quiet,
LOUD!
Sh…quiet.

Open, shut them, open, shut them,
Give a little clap, clap, clap.
Open, shut them, open, shut them,
Put them in your lap, lap, lap.

Shake them, shake them,
Roll them, roll them,
Make them into little fists.
Shake them, shake them,
Roll, roll, roll…
Then you give a kiss, kiss, kiss.
(Kissing sound!)

13. 2 little blackbirds

Two little blackbirds sitting on a wall,
One named Peter, one named Paul.
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul.
Come back Peter, come back Paul.

14. ITSY BITSY SPIDER

The itsy bitsy spider
Went up the water spout.
Down came the rain and
Washed the spider out.

Up came the sun
And dried up all the rain.
And the itsy bitsy spider
Went up the spout again.

15. WHERE IS THUMBKIN

Where is Thumbkin? Where is Thumbkin?
Here I am, Here I am.
How are you today sir? 
Very fine and thank you.
Run away, run away.

16. LITTLE BABIES

1 little, 2 little, 3 little babies
4 little, 5 little, 6 little babies
7 little, 8 little, 9 little babies
10 little baby boys (or girls).

10 little, 9 little, 8 little babies
7 little, 6 little, 5 little babies
4 little, 3 little, 2 little babies
1 little baby boy (or girl).

The Peaceful Parent Starter Guide | This Time Of Mine

17. ALL THE LITTLE FISHES

All the little fishies were
Swimming in the water,
Swimming in the water,
Swimming in the water.

All the little fishies were
Swimming in the water.
Bubble…bubble…bubble…
POP!

Repeat with medium fishies.
Repeat with big fishies.

18. 5 LITTLE DUCKS

5 little ducks went out to play
Under the bridge and far away.
When the mama duck said, 
“Quack, quack, quack, quack,”
4 little ducks came swimming back.

(Repeat with 4, 3 & 2 little ducks.)

1 little duck went out to play
Under the bridge and far away.
When the mama duck said, 
“Quack, quack, quack, quack,”
No little duckies came swimming back.

And the mama duck said, 
(Slowly) “Quack, quack…”
(Quickly) 5 little ducks
Came swimming back!

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moving fun

19. BUCKLE MY SHOE

1, 2, buckle my shoe,
3, 4, shut the door,
5, 6, pick up sticks,
7, 8, lay them straight,
9, 10, do it again!

20. JUMPING ON THE BED

5 little monkeys jumping on the bed, 
One fell off and bonked his head.
Mama called the doctor
And the doctor said,
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

(Repeat with 4, 3, 2 & 1 little monkeys.)

21. SWINGING IN THE TREE

5 little monkeys swinging in the tree,
Teasing Mr. Alligator, 
You can’t catch me,
You can’t catch me!

Along comes Mr. Alligator
Quiet as can be…
And snapped that monkey
Right out of that tree!

(Repeat with 4, 3, 2 & 1 little monkeys.)

22. Bread and butter

Bread and butter, 
Marmalade and jam.
Say hello as high as you can.
(HELLO!)

Bread and butter, 
Marmalade and jam.
Say hello as low as you can.
(HELLO!)

Repeat with other opposites:
Loud/soft
Slow/fast
Happy/sad
Etc.

23. Tall as a Tree

Tall as a tree,
Wide as a house,
Thin as a pin,
Small as a mouse.

24. Little mouse

There was a little mouse,
Looking for his house.
Not here,
Not here,
But here, here, here! 

25. Elevator Song

Oh, our city is great.
Oh, our city is grand.
There are lots of tall buildings
On a little piece of land.

We live way up on the 57th floor.
And this is what we do
When we go out the door.

Take the elevator up, 
Take the elevator down, 
Take the elevator up,
Take the elevator down,

Take the elevator up, 
Take the elevator down.
And turn…a…round!

26. Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes

Head, shoulders, knees & toes,
Knees & toes,
Knees & toes.

Head, shoulders, knees & toes,
Eyes, ears, mouth & nose.

27. Zoom, zoom, zoom!

Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We’ll be there very soon.
5…4…3…2…1…
Blast off!

28. MY HANDS

My hands upon my head I’ll place,
Upon my shoulders, on my face,
At my waist and by my side,
And then behind me they will hide.

Then I will raise them way up high, 
And let my fingers fly, fly, fly.
Then clap, clap, clap and 1, 2, 3…
To see how quiet they can be.

29. pat-a-cake

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake,
Baker’s man.
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
Roll it up…roll it up…
Put it in the pan!

30. Glasses

Here are Grandma’s glasses.
Here is Grandma’s cap.
This is how she folds her hands,
And puts them in her lap.

Here are Grandpa’s glasses,
Here is Grandpa’s hat,
This is how he folds his arms,
Just like that!

final notes

I hope you enjoy making music with your child. You’ll have so much fun learning together!

For more information on the benefits of music in child development, head here: Why Music Is Important For Babies And Toddlers

DISCLAIMER: I am not the author of any of these songs. They are all songs I either learned as a child or picked up at local libraries or music classes with my own children.

LOOKING FOR MUSIC IN A GROUP SETTING?

If you want your child to participate in a group experience (which is a great idea too), you can find free or paid music programs in places like:

  • Local libraries & storytimes
  • Churches/preschools
  • Mommy & Me music classes
  • Local community colleges or centers
  • A group of mom friends

And if you have any questions or need help finding ways to be musical with your child, feel free to contact me here.

How do you like to add music to your child’s day?

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