Singing & Dancing

Written by Anne Hunt
Illustrated by Kathy Hooper

The day is full of singing and dancing, sometimes joyful, sometimes angry.  From morning until night the children and adults in the book sing and dance to share their feelings.

When we sing and dance with our children we share how we feel.  The music and the movements come from emotions of the moments.  Even before children can talk they can sing and dance.  This kind of singing and dancing is not  performance.  It is a sharing of feelings.

We may sing a top 10 tune, a remembered song from our own childhood, a TV jingle, or something we make up on the spot.  Our movements may be a particular dance step or a free response to the rhythm.  Our dance may be as simple as the repeated rocking motion that fits so well with a lullaby.

Children can often sing more difficult sentences than they can speak.  As we sing together, we are often playing with language.  Sometimes, we make up new words to old tunes.  We insert our child's name into familiar songs.  We say counting songs like "The Ants Go Marching One by One".  We also enjoy add on songs such as "There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly".  Playing with words and rhythms is a great way for parents to support children's literacy development in natural, joyful ways.