Music is one of the most powerful tools you can use when teaching your preschooler. According to the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, music introduces children to word sounds and their meanings, and strengthens their memory skills. If you're teaching your child about farm animals, classic nursery rhymes with repetitive words such as "Old Macdonald Had a Farm" can help your child connect animals with the sounds they make. You can also get creative with other repetitive nursery rhymes and turn them into songs about farm animals to give your child a variety of songs to learn from.
"Old MacDonald" is the classic and primary children's song that has been teaching kids about farm animals for generations. The simple song is repeated, using a different farm animal each time. For example, the song starts out with "Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O. And on his farm he had a duck E-I-E-I-O. With a quack quack here, and a quack quack there, here a quack, there a quack, everywhere quack quack. Old MacDonald Had a farm, E-I-E-I-O." The song would then continue with another animal and the sound they make inserted, such as a cow, pig and chicks. You can insert any type of farm animal you wish, even those not included in the traditional song.
The traditional nursery rhyme "The Farmer in the Dell," is more about the farmer than the animals on his farm. However, you can take the tune and add easily add verses about farm animals to teach your child. For instance, teach your child to sing the first original verse, "The farmer in the dell, the farmer in the dell, hi-ho the derry-o the farmer in the dell." You could then sing, "the cows say moo, the cows say moo, hi-ho, the derry-o, the cows say moo," then continue with other farm animals.
In the classic nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb," Mary only had that one white as snow lamb. Why should Old MacDonald be the only one with a farm? Give Mary her own farm with a twist on the original song. You could sing, "Mary had a little farm, little farm, little farm. Mary had a little farm, with lots of animals." Then you would insert different farm animals into the song. For example, for a pig, sing, "Mary had a little pig, little pig, little pig. Mary had a little pig, the little pig goes oink."
In the children's song "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush," children sing about washing clothes, scrubbing floors and other household chores. Use that same concept to sing about working on a farm with the animals. For instance, you could start the song with "Here we go 'round the big red barn, the big red barn, the big red barn. Here we go round the big red barn, so early in the morning." Next sing about milking cows and add movements next. For example, you could sing, "This is the way we milk the cows, milk the cows, milk the cows. This is the way we milk the cows, so early in the morning." You can also sing about feeding the pigs, riding the horses, fleecing the lambs and anything else you can think of.
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