First 5 California Validates the Importance of My Off-Key Singing

Transitions are hard, especially when you’re a toddler. But, what if the hard edges of transition could be softened with a little song? That’s what I’ve started to infuse into my two-year-old son’s daily life- my off-key not-so-creative made-up tunes. Shockingly, he positively responds to my not-so-melodious ditties and has ceased throwing a tantrum when I announce that it’s time to transition from play time to nap time… and the toys need to be cleaned up.

Here are a few samples from my repertoire:

Clean Up Time- “Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere. Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share.” OK, I didn’t make this one up- thanks Barney!

What it looks like when a 2-year-old cleans up.
What it looks like when a 2-year-old cleans up.

Nap Time- “Now it’s time to take a nap, take a nap, take a nap. Now it’s time to take a nap and have a little dream. Yawwwwn.”


Bath Time- “It’s time to scrub, scrub, scrub our hair, scrub our hair, scrub our hair. Now it’s time to scrub our hair and make it so clean!”


Lunch Time- “Let’s eat eat eat our lunch, eat our lunch, eat our lunch, let’s all eat our lunch and make our tummies sing!”


If my son starts singing the clean up song (and actually starts cleaning up) it’s a dead giveaway that he’s then going to ask for some ice cream or a movie, or both.


While all this singing has made life in my home easier, I was happy to discover that it’s also stimulating my son’s mental development. First 5 California (a free trusted online resource to help parents give their children the best possible start to life) has recently launched a Talk. Read. Sing ® campaign encouraging parents to talk, read, and sing to their children, specifically in the first five years of life.


According to First 5 California, “90% of a child’s brain develops in the first five years of life. The primary factors influencing this brain development are daily experiences, parent responsiveness, nutrition, physical activity, genetics, and love. Many of the actions that cause a child’s brain to light up are eating, hugging, playing, singing, sleeping, touching, talking, drawing, crying, reading, crawling, and walking.”

We're pros at cuddling.
We’re pros at cuddling.

First 5 California offers fun ideas for how to incorporate more talking, reading, and singing into your kiddo’s life (for those days when you’re running on three hours of sleep, accidentally bought decaf coffee, and can’t remember where your shoes are, much less how to actively stimulate your child’s brain.) Check it out! My fave is ‘Make Your Own Music.’


All my singing usually leads into plenty of gabbing, and while my son may tire of my verbal stream of consciousness, First 5 California has informed me that all of these words are good for my little one. They report that, “research shows the more parents talk with their children, the larger vocabularies those children develop. So, use everyday moments – in the car, at the grocery store, during bath time – to talk to your child and teach her about the world around her. A child’s most intensive period for absorbing speech and language skills is during her first three years of life. These skills develop best in a world that is rich with sounds, sights, and consistent exposure to speech.”

I was talking him through the making of a fort.
I was talking him through the making of a fort.

I’m making the commitment to myself, my son, (and you!) to actively infuse more talking, reading, and singing (and not just for transitions!) into my time with my little dude on the daily.

How do you talk, read, and sing to your children every day? I’m always seeking new ideas!

#talkreadsing #first5california #first5CA

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