Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Songs to encourage communication

Babies love singing. Singing is a great way to entertain, calm and even teach your preemie. It's also a great way to help your preemie learn communication skills.

A great song to start with is "The Wheels On The Bus" Here are some ways to help your preemie participate in the song.

1) Hand gestures - Try to use a hand gesture for each verse of the song. Encourage your preemie to copy you. If you don't know the "typical" hand gesture - make one up. You can tailor it to your preemie's abilities. As my daughter started signing she was much more interested in this song because of the hand gestures she could make.

2) Pause - During the song, try to pause during each verse in order to give your preemie a chance to "sing" along. Any sound or attempt at sound that your preemie makes should be celebrated and encouraged. Taking turns helps your preemie learn how to talk and communicate.

3) Add verses - there is nothing to say that your bus can't have additional people (or animals on it) to make the song longer and/or more interesting for your preemie. If you preemie has some favorite animal sounds or people - put them on the bus too. Here are some verses I add to our bus song here at home:
"The Aunties on the bus say give us a kiss"
" The Grandmas on the bus say we need a hug"
" The Uncles on the bus say give us a high five"
" The doggies on the bus say woof woof woof"
" The kitties on the bus say meow, meow, meow"

Happy Singing!

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