You might think you have an impressive range of musical knowledge, but then you have a baby. Learning some lullabies is one thing—you hope you only need a couple of them in your repertoire to do the trick. But singing baby songs during other times of your infant’s day is a great way to entertain them and teach them new words.
In addition to being fun, there’s evidence that singing songs with your baby or toddler helps their development. Research from the University of Washington shows that play sessions with music helped nine-month-old babies process both music and new speech sounds. It can even spark an early love of music that will motivate your child to begin to learn an instrument in a few years, which studies reveal is good for brain development.
With that in mind, here is a list of 10 great baby songs to learn the lyrics to, complete with videos so you can learn the accompanying actions.
Wheels on the Bus
It’s easy to make up your own lyrics to this classic baby song — which is based on “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” — or to adapt it to your preferred mode of transportation (car, bike, etc.).
You know you already have it stuck in your head — might as well go with the earworm. Change the words or add lyrics to this baby song to include members of your own family as needed.
Five Little Monkeys
Count down the monkeys with your own little jumper. Don’t forget to include the hand actions for the different verses of this baby song.
Down by the Bay
This baby song has endless variations once you start adding in your own rhymes, which means it’s a great way to work in words from your baby’s own experiences.
Get the lyrics here.
Head and Shoulders
This baby song includes lots of moves, which are always a favourite for little kids, and it’s a good way to start teaching parts of the body.
The ABC Song
Sesame Street has done endless variations of the “ABC Song”, which will help you keep it fresh (for baby and for you!).
Get the lyrics here.
Five Little Ducks
Get ready to quack, because that’s the best part of this baby song. You can also adapt this to your baby’s other favourite animals.
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Another great song with accompanying actions, babies and kids will love learning to follow along with the spider’s adventure.
Ice Cream Song
Who doesn’t love ice cream, right? This is a great song for babies and for little kids to practice simple counting.
If You’re Happy and You Know It
Work in the actions your baby knows, like waving or hand clapping, but also use this to work in new ones.