Music is such a great resource for teaching new skills and modeling language in a fun and interactive way. I wrote a previous post about my top 10 songs for toddlers, but it was very hard to narrow down the list.
So I am doing a second post to include some of my other favorite toddler songs! These songs teach prelinguistic skills (skills needed before a child can even talk) such as imitation of gross and fine motor, cause and effect, turn-taking, and joint attention.
Which means even if the child is only doing the actions to the song, that is still a great stepping stone on the road to communication!
Songs can also help build vocabulary, encourage verbal imitation, and teach academic skills. I could go on and on about the benefits but let’s just get to the list of songs.
1. Itsy Bitsy Spider
There are so many great toddler songs that have actions but this one seems to be a favorite of many young children.
Remember that motor imitation is a great stepping stone for communication. So even if your child only imitates the actions in the beginning, that is a great start!
2. Hickory Dickory Dock
Any song based on a nursery rhyme is great because it helps with rhyming and phonemic awareness. I love using a clock prop with this song to also introduce the idea of telling time.
This is one of my son’s favorite songs!
3. If You’re Happy and You Know It
Following directions is a great receptive language skill. This song has tons of opportunities for following directions and gross motor imitation.
You can also practice turn-taking by letting different children choose the next action.
4. Grand Old Duke of York
I like to use this song as an interactive lap time song for younger children. It teaches the concepts of “up” and “down” but is also a great way to work on eye contact and joint attention (shared focus between two individuals on an object or event).
I have the child sit on my lap facing me and do actions similar to this example.
5. Hokey Pokey
This song is great because it teaches body parts, right vs. left, and coordination. Identifying body parts is a fantastic way of working on receptive language skills.
6. The Animal Sounds Song
I really like this song because it has so many different animal sounds that can be imitated. When kids are first learning language, animal sounds are often some of the easiest words to imitate.
So this song is perfect for that. Place some pictures of the animals on popsicle sticks and hold up the different animals throughout the song.
7. Going on a Bear Hunt
Kids love this song! There is something about the rhythmic repetition that is mesmerizing.
This song has fun actions, direct verbal imitation, and teaches prepositions such as under, over, and through.
8. Five Little Monkeys
Toddler songs are a great way to teach academic skills such as counting. There are so many counting songs out there.
But what toddler can’t relate to getting in trouble for jumping on the bed? This is one of my favorite counting songs.
9. Peanut Butter and Jelly
This is a fun song to teach the concept of sequencing. Sequencing is an important skill for following directions and even for combining sounds to make words and constructing sentences.
10. This is the Way We Brush Our Teeth
I love to use songs to help establish routines and deal with difficult transitions. This teeth brushing song has become a staple in our bedtime routine and my son knows to keep brushing until the song is over.
If you sing both verses, it is exactly 2 minutes. Perfect for teeth brushing!
Language Development for Toddlers
These are 10 more great songs to listen to with your toddler. Not only will they help your toddler develop those verbal skills, many of them are just plain old fun to listen to!
Don’t miss our list of 10 more awesome language development songs for toddlers.