Using Songs to Encourage Speech-Language Skills in Young Children

By Caroline Larson, M.Ed. CCC-SLP/L

Most parents and caregivers know that kids enjoy music. When kids hear music, they use their eyes, body, and voices to show us that they are listening and paying attention. They will perk up and look around, bounce, wiggle, and gesture, and try to sing along using words, intonation, and jargon. All of these behaviors are great early communication skills! The effectiveness of music to facilitate language development has been proven by decades of research.

Try encouraging your kids’ speech-language and communication skills through song. Pick a simple, familiar, and fun song to routinely sing in the car, before bedtime, or at bath time. Make it engaging by adding hand gestures, showing videos, or using puppets!

So, if your child enjoys the “Itsy, Bitsy Spider” song, you could sing it to him/her as you are tucking them in at night, use your hands to express what the spider is doing in the song (e.g., crawling up, going down, washing out), and leave blanks once your child becomes familiar with the song for him/her to fill in (e.g., “The itsy, bitsy ____ goes up the ___, down came the ___”). Have an ongoing a sing-a-long throughout your day!


For more information on how the Clubhouse can help your child in all areas of development, including using songs to encourage speech-language skills in young children, explore our site or contact us to schedule an appointment!


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