Sing a Picture Book

I love to sing with my niece and nephew because I know how much singing benefits young children.  Singing helps:  

  • relax babies 
  • toddlers learn new words
  • preschoolers learn that words are broken down into smaller sounds which is an important part of learning to read!

and more!

But no one has ever confused me for a professional singer, and sometimes even with the most supportive audience of three-year-olds, I am at a loss for what to sing. When that’s the case, I use singable picture books. Whether they feature the lyrics of familiar tunes, their own rhythm and songs, or call-and-response songs, picture books that you can sing are huge crowd pleasers!

If I’m not in the mood for a full-blown song, I’ll read a book that’s full of great rhythm, like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. I start by tapping out a slow rhythm with my hands or feet, then read along to that beat.

I never feel cooler than when I sing along with a Pete the Cat book because he’s the grooviest cat around. My favorite is Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons because it's fun to count along with Pete. You can also sing along to a recording of the song as you read.

Or you can reach for a book featuring a favorite song!  My niece’s favorite is The Wheels on the Bus, and that’s lucky for me because there are many books that adapt that song to introduce new vocabulary!  When we’re sticking with the classic, we love the The Wheels on the Bus but if we’re feeling a little silly we might read and sing The Seals on the Buss or even ¡Vámonos!!

I also love choosing books that allow kids to join in the singing, too!  If You're A Monster and You Know It is perfect to add a little movement to a story, and I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! has a run repeated phrase that kids will be able to shout along with you!

For more pictures books you can sing along with, check out this booklist.

What picture books will be in your next read aloud concert?