Singing young children off to sleep is an evening ritual for many families, but why wait until nightfall to burst into song?
Parenting educator Clare Bowyer says singing simple rhymes and songs to little ones anywhere, anytime is important for both parents and children.
Besides calming children, playful melodies can teach them much about life and language – long before they learn to speak – while also strengthening the parent-child bond.
Through the Mother Goose program, Centacare and Uniting Care Wesley have teamed up to support parents to connect with their kids the old-fashioned way.
“The interaction is really lovely because it’s without technology, or even paper and music,’’ Clare says.
“We just sing. There’s no accompaniment, just the voice.
“The benefit is delight and enjoying each other’s company without toys and other distractions.’’
In today’s fast-paced digital world, it can be easy to overlook the little things, Clare says.
“The idea is you can sing to your kids anytime, anywhere, and connect with them through face-to-face contact and simple actions.
“You can also easily hone in on their interests, like cars and even jellyfish!’’
In addition to nurturing communication and social skills, the use of rhyme, song and story can diffuse stress, such as angst around getting dressed.
“Instead of going to the phone, use a silly song to change the mood,’’ Clare says.
“From a language point of view, children learn to recognise words, sentences and sounds which benefits them when they reach school age.
“You can have a lot of fun singing.’’
Join the fun of Mother Goose!
Where: Seaton North Neighbourhood Centre, 16 Cairns Avenue, Seaton
When: Wednesday November 15, 22, 29 and December 6 from 1.30pm-2.30pm
Free for parents and children. All ages welcome.
For more information, please phone 8215 6700.