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‘Sing to me’ encourages parents to enjoy singing with their pēpi. Children are attracted to repetition, rhythm and rhyme, and enjoy having songs and music shared with them.

The Tākai baby frieze picture ‘Sing to me’ encourages parents to enjoy singing with their pēpi. There’s so much value for children in having songs and music shared with them. Children are attracted to the repetition, rhythm and rhyme, and they learn best when they’re interested.

Ask whānau:

  • What sort of music do you enjoy?
  • What sort of music does your whānau enjoy?
  • What about your toddler?
  • Do they like singing or playing music with others?
  • Who sings with them?

We can all sing

Some parents might feel shy about singing, but a toddler doesn’t care and will enjoy almost anything parents sing to them — whatever they sound like! Parents could try singing:

  • songs they know
  • kids’ songs
  • adult songs
  • silly songs
  • sad songs
  • songs in whatever language they like.

They can make songs up too, and just sing about what they’re doing with their child. For example, “Now it’s time to have some lunch”. A toddler is a great audience.

Try an action song

In the Whakatipu booklet Te Pihinga 3, look at the action song in te reo Māori (page 9) with whānau. Whānau might know it in English, too.

Shall we have a go at singing this song? It’s known as the ‘Hokey pokey’, or ‘Hokey tokey’, or ‘Hokey cokey’! The actions are simple and you can make up your own version:

“You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out

You put your right foot in, and you shake it all about

You do the hokey tokey, and you turn yourself around

And that’s what it’s all about!”

Help parents to encourage their toddler to copy the actions. It won’t take long before they get it.

You can listen to some ‘Waiata kōhungahunga’ from the Whakatipu booklets on tākai.nz [LINK].

How does this relate to Tākai resources?

Baby wall frieze – Waiata mai – Sing to me

Six things children need – Te aroha me te mahana – Love and warmth

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