Singing is a wonderful tool to learn a language. Songs are filled with rhymes, sound patterns, alliterations etc… By learning a song a child will be aware of how sounds can be manipulated: you can repeat a sound and it will be funny, you can invent words, you can omit certain sounds or emphasise others etc. Singing is giving children the sound awareness skills that are critical to learning to read successfully. So sing with them, let them hear the song over and over again, you will be setting some excellent grounds for them to develop a love of language and excellent foundation for learning to read.
Here is a list of some of my favourite songs/artists which are filled with rich vocabulary and are wonderful for little ones (as well as adults). You can click on the links to listen to some of the songs.
Henry Dès’ songs are filled with humour and his songs are easy to memorise as he uses a lot of repetition. If you type Henry Dès on you tube they will just play a series of songs with cute animation. My favourite are Les betises and y a tout qui va pas, camions ca fait prout.
The traditional comptines pour enfants:
You will find plenty of links on you tube. I like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0aMIKXajw8 and also this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN4V0zWO3lM
Raffi is a Canadian song writer and singer that I absolutely love. His songs are funny, he uses rhymes, alliteration and a lot of humour, there is also a strong message of love and sharing in his songs. He sings in English but you’ll also find some songs in French, Spanish and even Japanese. My favourite songs are Peanut butter sandwich, the sharing song.
You will find plenty on youtube but it’s hard to find one without ads and with good rhythms. Here’s one you tube channel that has good nursery rhymes: youtubehooplakids
Sandra Boynton, Philadelphia chicken
This album is extremely funny, you need to pay to listen to her songs https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sandra-boyntons-philadelphia/id1038245881 but you won’t regret it. It also introduces kids to all types of music, from blues to jazz to country to lullabies. You can also get a book to accompany the CD.
Kira Willey, Caterpillar Caterpillar
This song is just very cute, it’s from Kira Willey’s album Dance for the Sun : Caterpillar Caterpillar