Teaching your child how to say his or her name is a standard part of word development. But, there is much to learn, because unless your child’s name is Wilson Wilson Wilson (Home Improvement, anyone?), there are at least three different names to remember plus spelling!
I spend a lot of time singing a variety of songs to my son, so I decided to change some song lyrics in order to make music play a bit more educational, and in order to make learning a bit more fun. Here are five different songs that teach first, middle, and last names, plus a bonus of teaching the spelling of your child’s first name.
1. First Name – “We Love You Conrad”
From the musical Bye-Bye Birdie, this tune is catchy and easy to remember. Sometimes I sing it, and other times I rap it complete with stomping and clapping (which is quite a horrendous spectacle, but hey, my son likes it).
I love you Charlie,* oh yes I do
I love you Charlie, and I’ll be true
When you’re not near me, I’m blue
Oh Charlie I love you
*This song actually works better with a three-syllable name, so if you have a Vivian, Meredith, or Anthony, you’re in luck.
2. Last Name – “Old McDonald Had A Farm”
Admittedly, I didn’t make this lyric change soon enough, so if I dare to sing it using our last name, I am told, “Nooo!” for not singing the lyrics properly. You win some you lose some.
Old Muscato* had a farm, E-I-E-I-O…
*Syllables play a big role in successfully swapping out lyrics. If your child’s name has more syllables, sing the name faster to squeeze it in without changing the meter of the song. For a name with fewer syllables, sing one syllable on multiple notes.
3. First & Middle Names – “Clean Up”
The classic cleanup song. Sometimes the song helps to prompt my son into picking up, and sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve found that by adding his first and middle names into the mix, he usually gets excited and then starts helping. If not, well, at least he’s learning his name.
Clean up, clean up
Clean up, clean up
Irie James* do your share
*In this example, the child’s name replaced the four-syllable word “everybody”. “Irie James” is only three syllables, so it would be sung Irie Jay-ames in order to keep with the beat of the song.
4. First & Last Names – “Baby Beluga”
This is the first lyric changing I did way back when my little guy was a really little guy. All of the lyrics have been changed because I could only remember the opening “Baby Beluga” line (my only exposure to this song was through an episode of Full House). I chose words that would speak kindly (and sometimes honestly, and sometimes wishfully) about my little one.
Miller Muscato with his blue shirt* on
Sleeps all night clear through the dawn
Gives lots of smiles, loves to stroll the lawn
He is growing big and strong
*We still sing this song a lot and use it to name any article of clothing he’s wearing. Sometimes we name his hair or eye color too.
5. First Name & Its Spelling – “B-I-N-G-O”
I can’t take credit for this creation; one of my mom’s friends suggested it to me. I think it’s safe to say that your child knows this song, and he or she probably knows how to spell “Bingo” because of it. Why not use it to teach the spelling of your child’s first name? As discussed with syllables earlier, if your child’s first name isn’t five letters, no worries. If it’s more letters, sing them faster. If it’s fewer, sing them slower using the downbeat as your guide. If you don’t know what a downbeat is, just sing.
There is* a blue-eyed girl I know and Sarah is her name-o
and Sarah is her name-o
*Have you ever considered that both the farmer and the dog Bingo must be dead as indicated by the use of the word “was”? Please be sure to say to “is” when you sing this one, otherwise it’s creepy.
I am forever blurting out random songs and changing lyrics throughout our daily activities. Just a few days ago I started singing “Miller’s mom has got it going on…” to the tune of “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne. Weird, I know, but I was having fun and Miller loved it. That’s the whole point. Change lyrics to suit you and your child, and have fun!