Singing is an important practice to engage in with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to build vital pre-reading skills. Among other things, singing slows down language, allowing children time to hear and process sounds and syllables in words.
There are lots of picture books with naturally rhythmic text that you can read to a melody you already know or one you make up; here are just five that are perfect for children ages 0-5 and really lend themselves to singing.
|Down By The Station illustrated by Jess Stockham
Chock-full of vehicle sounds (also great for building phonological awareness!), and will be of interest to lovers of trains, trucks, cars, and fire engines. If you don’t know the tune for “Down By The Station,” it’s the same as “Little Bunny Foo Foo.”
|Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr., illustrated by Eric Carle
A classic read-aloud for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers alike, Brown Bear can be read lots of different ways, but singing it to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” is a story time favorite at the Southeast Library.
|I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by David Catrow
A funny story of a mischievous budding artist and an exasperated mother, sing this one to “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More.” Check out this video of Youtube user Tracey Phillips reading it aloud to help out with the melody.
|The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
As you probably guessed, this humorous, engaging, animal-sound-filled book is begging to be sung to the tune of “Wheels on the Bus.”
|Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean
A favorite among the older toddler and preschool set, Pete the Cat sings his song no matter what he steps in. Make up your own melody for Pete’s song, or watch this video by the author for inspiration.