When Parenting is Hard, Create Giggles & Relieve the Stress with MUSIC: 11 Helpful Tips

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I love my son more than words can describe and I have so much fun with him every single day.  And as a former teacher, my patience runs pretty deep.  However, parenting is hard!  And patience runs out, emotions run high, we run out of ideas for fun things to do, we need something to lighten the mood or encourage silliness.  I have found that MUSIC makes all the difference in the world for me and my son by filling our moments and days with so much joy, even during times that might normally be frustrating.  Music is a big part of who we are, and our lives are the better for it.  

I’d love to share how we work music into various parts of our day!  (Songs my son and I have learned in WeJoySing are in bold).

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In the car: We have a rotation of 3 cds that have been favorites for a while.  From the time my son was very young, we read a lot of books, and one favorite was We All Go Traveling By, a sing along.  There’s a cd that goes along with it that we play in the car, and my 2.5 year old requests it every time we get in the car (“cd 2, number 2”) and now sings the entire thing.  Other favorites include Raffi’s Singable Songs for the Very Young, Laurie Berkner’s Rocketship Run, and Rob Cantor’s Disney Junior Music Nursery Rhymes

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Diaper Changes (which, during certain phases, the mere mention of has been known to cause tears): We sing during every diaper change, and it makes the process so much more enjoyable for all parties.  Current favorites include: The Ants Go Marching, The Hokey Pokey, Party in the USA (yep!  “Put my hands up, they’re playing my song”), Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, Baa Baa                                                                                         Black Sheep
Bath time: The Prune Song, Baby Shark

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Getting somewhere (let’s walk to the bathroom, to the exit, to clean up, upstairs to bed, etc): We Are the Dinosaurs, Rig a Jig Jig, I Don’t Care if the Rain Comes Down (I’m gonna walk/crawl/run all day!)

Lullabies while rocking or cuddling: All the Pretty Little Horses, Go to Sleep, There’s a Little Wheel A Turnin’, Grey Squirrel, Lady Lady, Je T’aime, Edelweiss, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Baby Mine (from Dumbo!), Baa Baa Black Sheep

When you’re waiting in a waiting room OR your kiddo is calm OR needs cheering up... (mostly fingerplays): Ten Little Fingers (I can make them do tricks...), Big X Little O, This Little Piggy, Slowly Slowly Very Slowly, Open Shut Them, Tony Chestnut, Mama’s Little Baby Loves Dancing Dancing (hold your child), Five Little Monkeys, The Wheels on the Bus, Little Bunny Foo Foo

Songs to sing with your child on your lap: Little Red Wagon, Pony Boy, I Had a Mule, This is the Way the Ladies Ride, Mother Father and Uncle John, Trittity Trot to Market, Minka, The Noble Duke of York

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My favorite songs are those that the words identify or label what we are doing! For example, think The Little Rascals. Instead of singing “I’ve got a dollar, I’ve got a dollar, I’ve got a dollar hey hey hey” substitute “washing our hands, washing our hands, washing our hands hey hey hey.”  Or to the tune of BINGO “There was a boy with blonde hair and Breck was his name-o, B R E C K…”  Or to the tune of Do You Know the Muffin Man “We will change your diaper now, your diaper now, your diaper now…”  I would love to hear other examples of how you all do this at home!

Other ways to incorporate music into your day:
Read books that are songs: Some of our favorites include We All Go Traveling By, Pete the Cat’s Old Macdonald/5 Little Ducks/Wheels on the Bus/Old Macdonald, Over in the Meadow, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Five Little Monkeys, Ten in the Bed, Down by the Station.

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Create a spotify playlist that you can play anytime throughout the day: Breck requests his playlist quite often and we’ll either listen to it while playing, dance or sing to the songs.  He has requested songs to be added, and I have added ones I know he loves.  Right now a few titles from our list are: The Goldfish, There’s a Spider on My Head, Old MacDonald, BINGO, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Who Built the Ark, The Wheels on the Bus, Milkshake Song (you take a little milk, and you take a little cream…), Down By the Bay, Baby Beluga, If You’re Happy and you Know it, The Alphabet Song, Mouse in My Toolbox, Life’s a Happy Song (from the Muppets)

Get your child a CD player: My son has his own that I’ve taught him how to use.  Kids catch on SO QUICKLY.  He knows how to switch cd’s and search for songs he loves!

Make instruments available: My son particularly loves using bells to sing Jingle Bells, Bells Horses, Tick Tock, Little David Ring Ring Your Bell

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My hope is that this post inspires you to incorporate music into your family’s day in new ways and gives some ideas if you’re looking for new songs, or just need reminders of old ones you’ve learned in WeJoySing or sung before!

Happy Singing,
Mrs. Megan