Prep: None / Activity Time: 3-5 Minutes

Young infants are sensitive to the different sounds of speech. This is one reason babies enjoy songs, rhymes and chants. Since your 6- to 11-month-old is likely producing a variety of sounds, you can begin to connect these sounds to the songs/chants that she already enjoys!

Step 1: Choose a children's song/chant that your baby is familiar with.  (Example: The Itsy Bitsy Spider)

Step 2: Choose a sound your child can produce. (Example: "ba")

Step 3: Using the tune of the song (or cadence of the chant), replace all of the words with one repeated sound.


Replace this:

The spi...der climbed up the wa...ter spout

with THIS

ba  ba-ba  ba-ba  ba-ba   ba ba ba ba-ba ba

Step 4: Your baby will enjoy the song/chant because the rhythm remains familiar, but she will be attending to one specific speech sound. This is a skill that will prove helpful down the road when it is time to learn the sounds associated with individual alphabet letters.

Discover more ways to engage your baby with activities that build pre-reading skills, or browse recommended books for babies six to 11 months