Whether it is a simple lullaby or a grand symphony, the power of music to grab people’s attention, is well known. So it’s no wonder that preschools and ECE centers use music to help children feel at ease and learn new concepts. Preschools and daycare centers often incorporate circle time songs to help with a number of early development milestones including memory, coordination, motor planning, attentiveness, social interaction, and establishing daily routines.
Circle time songs can be grouped into three categories:
Welcome songs can also be called “good morning songs.” The idea is to make kids feel comfortable so that they can settle into their classroom or group. Hence, the lyrics and music will reflect that. Here are some examples:
- “Good Morning to You” – This song can be sung to the tune of “Happy Birthday to You.”
- “If You Are Wearing Red Today” – Sung to the tune of “Mary had a Little Lamb,” you would substitute the word red with another color. The last line would be “Stand up and shout hooray”.
- “Where Is” – The song starts off with “Where is (child’s name)” and ends with “Here I am.” The tune used for this one would be based on “Are You Sleeping? (Frѐre Jacques).”
As far as nursery rhymes go, there is a treasure trove to choose from, especially for kids in the preschool-age bracket. The following are some popular ones:
- “Are You Sleeping? (Frѐre Jacques)” – This one is an old French song that got translated into English, and it has been a hit ever since. The words and tune are very simple and can be sung slowly.
- “Itsy Bitsy Spider” – This classic can be sung as a finger-play song. This way, kids can work on their fine motor skills while acting out the song. In some countries, this song is known as “Incy Wincy Spider.”
- “I’m a Little Teapot” – Another great circle song that can be done as finger- and hand-play. Apart from being fun to act out, the children will also learn a few useful words used in everyday language.
Even though children learn something from all songs, some songs are specifically designed to teach something, as you’ll see below:
- “Seven Days of the Week” – Composed by popular children’s song composer Nancy Kopman, “Seven Days of the Week” is simple enough for most toddlers and preschoolers to sing along with. After a few times singing it, they will know the days of the week.
- “Old MacDonald” – As far as farm songs go, nothing beats the classic “Old MacDonald.” Children of all ages adore animals, and this is an effective (and catchy) way to learn about different animals.
- “The ABCs” – This is perhaps the most well-known alphabet song that most kids learn to sing from an early age. Nothing fancy or complicated; since the song involves simply singing the alphabet to the tune of the famous song “twinkle, twinkle little star.” You can also sing the alphabets using the tune of “Mary had a little lamb,” although this one is a bit more of a tongue twister.
Whatever songs you choose to sing, make sure to have fun!