Prep: None / Activity Time: 3-5 Minutes

Beginning in infancy, children begin to notice the different sounds of speech. This is one reason babies enjoy songs, rhymes and chants. Songs are a perfect way to introduce even the youngest babies to syllables, because in music, each syllable gets one note (beat). Having an awareness that words can be broken into smaller parts is a critical pre-reading skill – and this can be introduced almost effortlessly, just by singing to your infant.

  • children's music (You might choose to sing along to a children's CD – many are available for checkout at your local library)

Choose a children's song with a slow tempo (Example: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star).

As you hold your baby, gently pat his back for every beat in the song as you sing the words aloud.

Twin...kle, twin...kle lit...tle star (7 pats on the back)

    1     2       3     4     5     6     7

Continue patting his back as you sing the remainder of the song.

**As an alternative to patting his back, you might gently bounce your baby, rock him back and forth, or even just lightly tap his tummy for each beat in the song.