Category Archives: Spiritual Disciplines

Corny Mom Songs

Corny Mom Songs

Here’s a silly question: Have you ever had a song stuck in your head? I often awaken in the middle of the night with melodic tunes and corresponding lyrics (which I heard earlier in the day) running through my mind. Songs can be a great way (or an awful way) to learn new¬† information, to remind us of past events, and to explain things to children. Let me explain.

As an elementary educator, I taught 20-something children each day, for 180 days, for many years. What a rewarding (and exhausting) job! Some days gentle reminders did not work. Since yelling was not an option, I found more creative ways to get my class’s attention. I would sing a familiar tune with lyrics describing what I wanted the class to do. Imagine this:

Everyone, please sit right down.

Sit right down.

Sit right down.

Everyone, please sit right down.

So you can hear the lesson. (sung to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)

What I discovered was that (as a rule) the children listened and followed directions. My personal children (who are now 11 and 13) are not as appreciative of this singing talent as my elementary students were. They are especially unimpressed when I bust out the imaginary microphone. But, guess what? My songs get my children’s attention, too, even though they have noted my repetitive tunes with varied lyrics!

My love for music and observance of its effectiveness has accompanied me into children’s ministry, as well. At a church I served at several years ago, preschool classes used a Song Box, and I have continued this tradition. This is how it works. The Song Box (or Song Bag) is filled with small items, and each item represents a song that we sing. As the box is passed around the circle, each preschool child can choose an item. Then we sing the corresponding song. Here are some of the objects with their corresponding songs:

Tree: Zacchaeus

Heart: Jesus Loves Me

Globe: He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

Sunglasses: Oh, Be Careful, Little Eyes, What You See

So each week, we gather the preschool children in a circle and start the fun off with Song Box, which then leads into the Bible Story and then prayer. I have found the Song Box to be a great way to gather children and to help them focus on why we’re really at church (in addition to playing in the pretend kitchen and building Lego towers). It is also a great way to teach children about Bible stories and Christian principles.

For your viewing pleasure, I recorded a Song Box adventure. As I watched the video, I noted a few things.

  1. Repetition is good. I wrote a blog about this. Here’s the link:
  2. Barbies (and dinosaurs, and other toys) can participate in Song Box, as well. This can be a way for those less-than-enthusiastic about Song Box to participate.
  3. Not all preschoolers choose to remain seated or to sing with you. Invite children to sit by you, use their names (which I omitted since I knew that this video would be made public), and ask them to help you sing.
  4. Learn the songs, because other things might be discussed during Song Box (like Barbie feet, what songs preschoolers will sing in their upcoming school program, and what parents/grandparents tell you at drop-off).
  5. Some Song Box toys (and others near little hands) go into mouths. Be sure to sanitize them.
  6. Be ready to move. Song Box requires singing, hand motions, and standing. It’s not for the faint of heart but is fully worth the effort.
  7. Prepare for parents to tell you about how their children sing these songs at home. By far, preschoolers singing Song Box songs at home (and in the car) is the most happily reported thing that I hear from parents.

Maybe you don’t teach in a preschool class each Sunday, but you can still apply the same principles to the children you encounter. Do objects at home remind you of Bible stories? Do those Bible stories have corresponding songs? If so, sing away! If not, let’s find some songs for you to sing with your little ones. To learn all of our Song Box songs and objects, email Elaine. Happy singing!