As I posted before, singing to and with your preemie is a great way to enhance his/her communication skills. Last time I posted about Wheels on the Bus. This post is dedicated to the classic song "Old McDonald Had a Farm."
Here are some ways to help your preemie participate in the song.
1) Animal sounds - This song is great for teaching and working on animal sounds. If your preemie is just learning animal sounds than make sure you really focus on the animal sound part of the song. As your preemie learns new animal sounds you can add more verses to the song.
2) Use pictures or toys - If you have a book with animals or actual animal toys than bring those out for singing the song. This will help your preemie make the connection between the animal and the sound. As you sing the song, hold up the animal or picture that you are singing about. You can let your preemie hold the animals and play with them during the song.
3) Pause - During the song, try to pause during each part (esp. the animal sounds part) 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. It doesn't matter if he/she sings in tune with the song. Taking turns helps your preemie learn how to talk and communicate.
3) Add animals - Does your preemie know more jungle animals than farm animals? No problem. Your farm can have any animal on it that you want. Lions, elephants and pigs can all hang out and play on your farm. We have also added in a farmer (who says hello) and a tractor (who makes car sounds that only my son can do).