Singing and playing with sounds is part the human experience. Singing to and with pēpi – anywhere, anytime – to support language acquisition and develop empathy while ‘feel-good’ endorphins are released, strengthening relationships.

Why do it?

  • Singing provides a rich experience — tune, rhythm, harmony, movement, language and culture — all enhancing the development of connections in baby’s brain.
  • Singing is also a fun way of repeating an experience, which makes brain pathways stronger.
  • Singing releases endorphins (‘feel good’ hormones), which benefit baby and whānau.
  • When whānau sing with baby it strengthens their relationship.

How to do it

  • Sing anywhere and anytime.
  • Sing in your family’s language(s).
  • Make up songs to accompany your daily activities — for example, you can sing a nappy-changing song to the tune of ‘Here we go round the mulberry bush’: ‘This is the way we… ‘change a nap’ ‘clean that bottom’ ‘put on powder’ ‘do up the flaps’ ‘have a cuddle’.
  • Try some finger rhymes — maybe you remember ones from your childhood? ‘Round and round the garden’ is an old school favourite.

Using more te reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Enjoyable, fun
Waiata mai Sing to me
Pleasure, amusement
To sing/song
Sweet singing, tuneful
To sing/song
To sing
Harmony (music)
Action songs
Ngā matimati Fingers
To wiggle