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Show a toddler that action songs are fun

Why do it?

  • Action songs are a rich (multi-sensory) brain and memory-building activity.
  • Singing and moving is a complex activity involving many parts of the brain.
  • Action songs are a fun way for children to learn through repetition.
  • When more than one person is involved, it becomes a social activity involving watching, listening, copying, movement and co-operation.
  • Toddlers and whānau enjoy sharing time together.

How to do it

  • Show a toddler by your voice and facial expressions that action songs are fun.
  • Look for songs in the languages that a whänau speaks.
  • Make actions up for songs that the toddler already knows.
  • Repeat songs and actions again and again with the child so they become familiar.
  • Songs to include could be:
    • Hokey tokey/Tō ringa ki roto, tō ringa ki waho
    • Row, row, row, your boat
    • Ngā wīra ō te pahi/The wheels on the bus
    • Twinkle, twinkle little star/Tīrama, tīrama ngā whetū
    • Kei hea kōnui?/Where is thumbkin?

Print the words from the ‘Songs and rhymes’ section, if you need them.

Below are Waiata in the songs and rhymes section