Best Bathtime Songs
Benefits of Music at Bathtime
Having a good old sing-song with your child at bathtime can be loads of fun for both of you. Singing releases endorphins (feel-good hormones) so you automatically feel better for belting out a tune - plus the joy of singing, dancing and doing actions together can get everyone giggling.
There are plenty of other benefits for your child too: learning songs helps with brain development (the more you use your memory the better it gets). Plus it takes concentration to get the words and rhythm accurate, so singing regularly helps us improve our focus. Songs often introduce new words and phrases that help children with language skills and for songs with actions there's the additional benefit of improving co-ordination and gross motor skills.
Perhaps most importantly, singing together is great for bonding - special songs become 'our family songs'. Even if you only sing them occasionally, they can become part of a family ritual e.g. "We always sing 'Singing in the Rain' when it has been awful weather."
Best Bathtime Songs for Toddlers
Lots of songs work well for younger children, you can work through your child's favourites and then perhaps introduce some of the songs suggested below. If you have a Bathtime Xylophone then this is great to play with too. Toddlers enjoy plonking along with the rhythm, even if they find getting the right notes too tricky.
1) Row, row, row your boat - If you want actions to go with this song, you can sit opposite each other, hold both hands and gently swing each other back and forth in time to the music (calmly, not wildly so there is no danger of banging heads on the side of the bath!) Or, it's fun to change the last line, so that instead of 'Merrily, Merrily etc....' you change it to "If you see a crocodile, don't forget to SCREAM aaaah". Perhaps you can invent a last line of your own: "If you see some monkeys, make a football team" - or whatever daft things come to your mind.
2) If you're happy and you know it - Action songs are great for helping your wee one develop their concentration as they juggle doing the actions and singing the words at the same time. This song builds up slowly, so the first time you just clap, but after a few rounds of different actions you "Do all three" so you clap, bang the bath and nod your head (or whatever actions you choose) at the same time.
3) Alphabet Song - teaching your child this song introduces them to the names of the letters (different to the ‘sounds’ or phonics that they will initially learn in school). Your child will need to know the letter name too though so it is useful to start learning them. If you have some bathtime foam letters such as 'Fish n Spell' then, once they are confident with the song, you can play games at the same time. For example, when you stop the song at letter H, your child has to find that foam letter.
Best Bathtime Songs for School Age Children
Older children love a good singalong at bath or showertime too. They might enjoy performing to you by themselves, or you can have a laugh singing together. Here are some ideas for great bathtime songs to sing with children aged about 5-9.
1) Karaoke favourites - any songs that you enjoy (and know the words of) could be great to sing together, as long as the words are appropriate for children. Two that I enjoy singing myself, or with my children are 'Dancing Queen' by Abba and 'Shotgun' by George Ezra. Both of these are pretty straightforward to sing and make a lovely happy vibe in the bathroom.
2) 'We Will Rock You' by Queen - Rhythm is lots of fun, you can both tap the side of the bath and get the beat of catchy tunes. This hit by Queen is fantastic for getting a strong sense of rhythm together before you start introducing the lyrics.
3) Traditional songs and songs from your childhood - personally I love the 'Skye Boat Song' and enjoy singing this with my youngsters. I must have learnt it when I was about 8 years old and still remember the words clearly. It's lovely to pass on tunes that have been in your head for decades and think that they may carry on down to future generations. A more silly song that has been with me for years and my son now enjoys larking around to is 'Donald Where's Your Troosers' by Andy Stewart. He finds it hilarious!