Sing a song.
Sing out loud.
Sing out strong."
You have that song in your head now, don't you?
I sing songs with my son all the time, and I also sing books. Just about any picture book can easily be turned into a song. I find it to be a great read aloud technique, and we both enjoy the experience. The tune is completely irrelevant, I make up something new every time I sing.
Books that have worked well as songs (for us, at least) include:
- Freight Train by Donald Crews
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
- Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- Big Dog Little Dog by P.D. Eastman
Singing was particularly effective when my son was a baby, and I used to sing all of his longer board books to him. It also worked well when he was an antsy toddler. He still likes it now, even though he's older, and every night he'll tell me which books he wants me to sing.
I think I have a terrible voice, and I'm quite shy about using it normally, but my son doesn't mind no matter how off key I am. I tried singing my made-up musical version of Freight Train in a storytime last week, and to my surprise, it actually worked quite well. I'll have to try it again.
If there's a small child in your life, try singing them a book. Just remember, as the wise people at Sesame Street would tell you:
"Don't worry that it's not good enough
For anyone else to hear.
Sing a song."