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Musical Books for Babies

Books and Music … Music and Books ... both are loved by babies and both provide a powerful way for us to connect with babies! So how wonderful to combine the two by performing the songs and rhymes in books!

Some books are songs … look out for books of Old MacDonald or Incy Wincy Spider ... 10 in the Bed or Puff the Magic Dragon!

Some books include songs … I love Julia Donaldson’s The Smartest Giant in Town and have made up my own tune for the Giant’s growing list of all the animals he has helped!

Sometimes the sounds in books can be musical … animal sounds, ticking clocks, slides and swoops … anything that encourages our babies to play with their voices and have fun!

And then there are countless books of rhymes and poems... when we read or recite poems we usually create a strong sense of beat. And the pattern of the words form wonderful catchy rhythms. The repeated sounds, rhymes, alliteration and assonance contribute to the music too and are hugely appealing to babies and toddlers.

Over several years, I seem to have collected quite a lot of ‘musical’ books ... and a few of them in this picture show definite signs of being loved (aka chewed) by my three children who are now all teenagers!

Today, at Little Bees Baby Classes, I shared just a few of them!

Here are four of my favourites

I Have Ten Little Fingers – Illustrated by Annie Kubler

Such a brilliant rhyme for little ones and the joyful illustrations reflect a wonderfully diverse community of babies! I love to end the rhyme with a repeat of the first two lines and then ask the babies ‘do you have ten fingers too? Let’s count them and see … 1 2 3 etc … and what are fingers good for?.... TICKLING! (or wriggling or waving or tapping !) I usually do this as a rhyme but on the back cover I noticed that there is a little tune … I think my next step will be to try this out and see how I like it!

Wibbleton to Wobbleton

I found this lap bouncing rhyme in a book full of tradition rhymes and stories! Lots of us have compilations of rhymes/stories sitting on our shelves and it is so worth taking a look… there will be many a gem inside! I know how much babies enjoy the sounds of repeated sounds and the w and b repetitions in the Wibbleton to Wobbleton rhyme are irresistible! Depending on the age of your baby and the amount of bouncing they can tolerate, you might want to bounce to the left for every ‘wibbleton’ and to the right for every ‘wobbleton’ to make it extra fun!

Happiness – A. A. Milne

This lovely rhyme reminds me of my lovely dad and comes from the poetry collection When we Were Very Young which A A Milne published in 1924 … so it's not long before we celebrate its centenary! Milne’s book is packed with fabulous rhymes that have strong rhythms that make them so memorable and wonderfully appealing and can still quote parts of many of the poems today (nearly 50 years since my Dad introduced me to them!). Happiness is a poem about John who is all dressed up for a rainy day … and today it really was an extremely rainy day, so it couldn’t have been more perfect!

Over in the Meadow – Jane Cabrera

There are many, many versions of this book – illustrators seem very drawn to its possibilities and variations! However. my Little Bees Baby Class families will know that I am a huge fan of Jane Cabrera’s version … so much so that, when it was out of print a few years ago, I bought up every copy I could find on ebay! And last year, when it was reprinted as a board book … I bought a set of 10 for my classes. The illustrations are so captivating, the numbers are beautifully clear and I love the repetition of the images in the pages at the back too! If you forget the tune, then you can easily find it on YouTube – I like Raffi’s version accompanied on the piano … the words differ from Jane Cabrera’s version but you will get the idea!

So why not combine your baby's love of books with their innate and instinctive musicality and enjoy a musical book today?

If you have any questions or would like to know more about Little Bees Baby Classes, contact Katie.


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