Literacy Practices


Singing is a natural way to teach children about words. The rhythms in song help children decipher individual sounds and syllables and helps children to decode print.

  • Children learn new and rare words by singing songs and nursery rhymes.
  • Singing to young children develops their language skills by focusing on intonation, rhythm, rhyme and speech patterns.
  • Singing together is a fun, bonding experience. Children enjoy all kinds of music.
  • Singing slows down language so children can hear the different sounds that make up words.


Activities to do with your Baby:

  • Hum and sing every day.
  • Sing a song just using syllables like “la, la, la.”
  • Sing your favorite Mother Goose and other nursery rhymes.
  • Play soft music and move rhythmically with your baby.


Activities to do with your Toddler:

  • Sing a song very slowly, then very fast, and then in a silly voice.
  • Sing a song about things you do every day.
  • Sing nursery rhymes so children can hear the different sounds in words.
  • Clap along to the rhythms in songs so children can hear the syllables in words.


Activities to do with your Preschooler:

  • Teach your child a new song and ask her/him to hum along as you sing it. Then see if she/he can sing the words with you.
  • Sing and dance with your child’s favorite music.
  • Sing a book or poem.
  • Check out these websites for great resources for literacy practice of singing.

Singing Resources:

The following websites are great resources for the literacy practice of singing.


Fingerplays are the perfect teaching tool for preschoolers!

Flash Required

NIEHS - Sing-a-long

Discover song to sing with kids. This site includes the music and lyrics.



Songs for Teaching

A variety of songs, fingerplays, activity suggestions and song samples.

Flash Required


Spin and Sing
Sing with Daniel about important social and emotional skills.



Guide to Preschool Songs
A collection of fun preschool songs to ouse with your kids.

Flash Required

Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood Songs 

These songs convey many of Mister Rogers' timeless messages.

Flash Required


Colorado Public Libraries' librarians share singing skills.

Flash Required

Mama Lisa’s World 

Songs from all over the world. Many have audio/video recordings.

Flash Required

Mighty Book - Songs
Story songs with animated illustrations to go along with them.

Flash Required

Monkey Monkey Music
Watch, listen and learn with educational Singer, songwriter Meridith Levande.

Flash Required