Known worldwide as the ex-Yellow Wiggle and for his Nick Jr. show, ARIA Award-winner Sam Moran is a true star of children’s entertainment. His live shows are renowned for their singing, dancing and hilarious fun for the whole family.
Ahead of his live show Play Along With Sam coming to Riverside as part of our Spot On Children’s Festival these school holidays, Nick Jr. looked at the top 5 tips to make learning fun through song and dance.
We all know that our children resist being ‘taught’ things, which is why I’ve always been a huge advocate for learning through play. My songs, while being entertaining, are often mixed with developmentally appropriate lessons so children don’t even realise they’re learning.
Nursery rhymes and songs have been used for centuries to teach children simple lessons. Rhyming words help build their vocabulary quickly, because they extend upon already familiar sounding words with new words that have new meanings.
Learning to count is achieved through pure repetition and songs can be a great fun way to do this. Anything that encourages your child to count on their fingers, while singing, will help them along the way. My favourite as a child was 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, once I caught a fish alive, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, then I let him go again.
All of us can remember being scared of things we didn’t understand as a child – whether it be trying a new type of food, or visiting the dentist. A child is scared of what they don’t understand, so if you can find something, like a song, that explains it, then you can help remove that fear. There are songs that talk about these experiences from a child’s point of view and I’ve found that singing these songs can help take the fear away and actually create a desire to experiment. I still haven’t found the song that makes me like brussel sprouts though ;).
ENCOURAGE not DISCOURAGE
Learning music at a young age has been shown to create many benefits for a child’s developing brain; ones that persists throughout their lives. While I was studying music education, I was shocked that researchers believe the main reason most people in the world don’t think they can sing, is that they were told so at a very young age, or told to be quiet. Young children’s vocal chords are not developed enough to even be able to sing in tune. So, don’t just assume that your three year old can’t sing. It’s through them singing out loud that they “find” their voice and stretch their vocal chords in new ways. So, if you can bear it, try to catch yourself from telling them not to sing so they can develop their voice. On the other hand, your husband’s singing in the shower is a different matter.
While children are often engaged with singing and dancing themselves, sometimes they might need a bit of extra encouragement. In my experience, there is no better way to encourage than by doing it yourself and encouraging them to join you. Dancing helps develop a young child’s gross motor skills in a fun way. My daughter still insists that we “ballroom dance” together in the lounge room at any opportunity.
Little ones will be enthralled by Sam Moran’s lively and entertaining show Play Along With Sam at Riverside Theatres 29 September at 11am and 2pm. Click here to book your tickets now and come and sing-along, dance-along and play-along with Sam!
This article was originally published on Nick Jr. Parents
COLOURING COMPETITION TIME
To celebrate the release of Sam Moran’s new album Best. Day. Ever! and his live performances of Play Along With Sam – Best. Day. Ever! at Riverside Theatres, we are running a colouring competition! For your chance to WIN a signed copy of Sam Moran’s DVD Play Along With Sam – Around the World, click here and download your colouring sheet. We can’t wait to see your entries! Have fun and good luck!