Both kids have shoes and coats on, backpacks and lunches in toe, and they have finally been buckled into the car. Somehow we made it through another morning and we are on our way to school, remarkably within the boundaries of ‘on time.’
I’ve just put the car in reverse and have begun to guide the car out of the driveway when it starts.
“Sing the banana name song, please!!” two voices shriek out from the back seat, almost in unison. And the shrieking continues until I find it within me to raise my voice above theirs and ask what name they’d like to hear.
For those not privy to our family lingo, the banana name song is more traditionally known as The Name Game song. It goes way back and I’m sure you’ve heard it, and probably sung it, at least once. But here it is if you need a little refresher.
I started singing this song about a week ago as a way to distract the butterflies in my kids’ tummies on the way to school. But now, even as the butterflies begin to wander off and distraction is not so much needed, they continue to ask for it. And, as long as I’m well caffeinated, I oblige. Though, I have to admit, for a while I wondered why. Why was I continuing to sing this silly song every morning when clearly we could be talking about more important things during our commuting time or maybe even enjoying a bit of quiet?
Well, it turns out that according to research, my silly morning singing has some pretty great benefits. Studies show that exposure to music supports all learning, from reading and math to creative thinking and language.According to Mary Luehrisen of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation, “A music-rich experience for children of singing, listening and moving is really bringing a very serious benefit to children as they progress into more formal learning.”
This year, Brooksfield’s theme is music in the classroom and I’m excited to not only hear the songs my son will inevitably come home singing (hopefully varying up our repertoire beyond banana names) but also to see how that plays out down the line in his future learning.
Want to carry this music theme through at home? Here are a few ways we do it:
In the background
We keep music playing in the background whenever we are all at home—from cooking dinner to eating breakfast to playing on a rainy afternoon. In the quieter moments, we all find ourselves singing along.
Singing in the car
This is a great one to keep the kids entertained and the bickering to a minimum. Turn up the radio and belt out your favorites or turn it all the way down and see what sorts of silly lyrics make their way out of the backseat.
Sing about the day
There is probably a song in your memory bank for just about every kind of day. From “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring” to “You Are My Sunshine” to “If All the Snowflakes” you could sing about the weather every day. (Can’t remember the words? Google and YouTube are there to help you out.)
Sing after assembly
Next week we’ll all attend our first assembly of the year and hear our kids sing a song they’ve practiced. Keep them going at home. They’ll love showing off the words they remember and reliving their performance!
What is your favorite song to sing with your kids?