Prep: None / Activity Time: 5-7 Minutes

The most important ingredient in your baby’s learning process is YOU! Researchers tell us that sound play is an important activity that helps lay the foundation for later developing phonological awareness. This sound play activity incorporates lively play songs that use rhyme, alliteration and repetition, which allow your baby to hear the important sound patterns of speech.

  • recording of popular children’s songs (optional)

Step 1: Begin a lively sound play activity when your baby is awake, happy and in a playful mood. Sound play can be enjoyed during diaper changes and bath time, as well as playtime! Sit or stand close to baby, preferably facing each other.

Step 2: Choose a song that has a lively rhythm, rhyming words and plenty of repetition. You can play a recording of a popular children’s song and sing along; however, your baby will love hearing the sound of your voice alone. Your voice is perfect to your baby’s ears!

You can get ideas for songs from listening to children’s song recordings on the Internet, radio or children’s television programming. Your local library is a great source for finding children’s music. Examples of play songs include popular songs like “Skinna-marinky Dinky, Dink; Skinna-marinky Doo” or “The Wheels On The Bus.”

Step 3: While you are singing a song to your baby, enhance her learning by combining various body movements or dance. Your baby will love to imitate your hand and body motions even if she is unable to sing the words yet. Here is an example:

The Wheels On The Bus

The wheels on the bus go round and round,
Round and round,
Round and round.
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
All through the town.
(Move your arms in a rolling motion, one over the other, to symbolize the wheels moving around and around.)

The horn on the bus goes “Beep, beep, beep,
Beep, beep, beep,
Beep, beep, beep”.
The horn on the bus goes “Beep, beep, beep”,
All through the town.
(Press your forefinger to your or your baby’s nose, signifying the Beep, Beep, Beep of the bus’s horn.)

The doors on the bus open and close,
Open and close,
Open and close.
The doors on the bus open and close,
All through the town.
(Press the palms of your hands together, and then open your hands outward to symbolize “opening doors.”) 

Step 4: You can use play songs as a form of conversational dialogue with your baby. As you sing a rhyming or repeating verse, encourage baby to complete the verse by finishing the hand or body action. As your baby develops through this age, she will also be able to repeat or complete some of the repetitive words.

Step 5: Continue the sound play activity until your baby’s energy level seems to reduce.