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Every Child Ready to Read: Singing Tips

Singing to young children is critical. The development of phonological awareness, or the ability to hear and manipulate the smaller words in sounds, will help a child become ready to read. Song also has the power to soothe, connect and refocus.

Caring adults everywhere need not be a pop star or choral genius. Even the silliest of singing voices will entertain a young child while helping them learn about the world. Feeling stage fright? Have the humility to laugh at yourself, point out any mistakes you’ve made and let the show go on. Through song, children can also witness a small failure and know it is okay to be who they are becoming.

The Library is here to help you find books that you can sing along to, new favorite tunes to share, and Librarians can also show you digital resources like Libby and Hoopla to entertain the whole family.

Babies explore musical instruments.


  • Songs help children develop listening skills and to pay attention to the rhythms and rhymes of spoken language.
  • Different notes help children break down words because they can hear individualized sounds.
  • Singing helps children learn new words and adds to their general knowledge.


  • Clapping along to rhythms helps children hear the syllables in words and helps them improve motor skills.
  • Bouncing to the rhythm can help soothe fussy babies and adding motions can entertain toddlers.
  • Make up your own lyrics to familiar tunes and songs your child enjoys.

Singing is one of five activities you can incorporate into your daily routine to help your child get ready to read. These activities are part of an initiative called Every Child Ready to Read that is rooted in public libraries as cornerstones of early literacy in communities.

Angela is a Children’s & Teen Librarian at CLP – Squirrel Hill. She is an extremely slow reader and bicyclist, but really loves both.

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