Valuable Toddler Songs for Development

You know those catchy nursery rhymes that your parents played for you or you heard in preschool? While these tunes are often very engaging for children, they also play a key role in your child’s development. There’s much more to those melodies than just singing and dancing. Some excellent toddler songs for development your preschooler will love also have skill building value they can benefit from later on in life.


Music can have a great impact on a developing brain. There is evidence that shows babies absorb external sounds, especially mom’s voice, while in the womb. Talking and singing to your baby during pregnancy is already setting a ‘sound’ foundation for them. There are even greater ways that you can encourage your child to learn and develop through music.

Nursery Rhymes for Toddlers

Nursery rhymes can be calming and relaxing to help lull your baby to sleep. They can also be fun and engaging to encourage playful activities. Here are some popular toddler songs that you’re probably familiar with and how they can benefit your preschooler!

Itsy Bitsy Spider
This is a cute one we always enjoy. It involves moving your fingers to the song as you imitate a spider climbing up using your index finger and thumb.

The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and it dried up all the rain,
And the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.

This song is great with babies because the sounds and finger play that are involved easily grab their attention. The finger movements are also beneficial by developing their fine motor skills. This is a very important motor skill they will use when they begin learning how to write.

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
This popular toddler song is a favorite because it’s fun and silly. Parents of toddlers that like to ‘monkey around can relate to the silly, bouncing up and down characters of this song. Typically it starts off with a number of 5 monkeys jumping on the bed and is repeated counting down as each monkey falls off.

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed,
one fell off and bumped his head.
Momma called the doctor and the doctor said,
‘No more monkeys jumping on the bed!’

For preschoolers, this is a great way for them to learn about their numbers as well as introducing subtraction. As you go through the song, one by one the monkeys fall off, counting down how many are remaining until there are no more monkeys jumping on the bed. When you’re singing this with your toddler, use your fingers accordingly to count the monkeys.

The Hokey Pokey
If you’re not familiar with this one, it’s a fun song that invites toddlers to put their energy to good use. The song instructs to perform an action moving different parts of the body. 

Put your right hand in.
Take your right hand out.
You put your right hand in
And you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey
and you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about”

These types of songs that give a specific command for your child to perform instinctively support and encourage your child to follow instructions. This one in particular helps your child to learn about body awareness. By watching you and following along, they’re also learning to distinguish their right from their left. When you’re doing these movements with your child, stand facing the same direction as they are. This makes it easier to follow rather than facing in front of them.

I have heard this song sung in one of two ways – a boy who had a dog and also as a farmer who had a dog. Either way, the message and the learning value are still the same.

There was a boy who had a dog and Bingo was his name-o.
B – I – N – G – O
B – I – N – G – O
B – I – N – G – O
And Bingo was his name-o!

The repetitive song is sung spelling out the name Bingo, with each refrain leaving out a letter, clapping in place of saying it, until there are no more letters left to sing. Repetition in toddler songs is an easy way for them to follow along as they learn to predict what will come next. This song helps instill an early foundation for later success in reading and spelling. It also makes a great song to sing in the car, because the major movement in this song is by clapping your hands.

Toddler songs for development can be a great way to keep your child engaged whether you’re at home or in the car. Interactive games can also provide a fun way to entertain your child with skill building values that will help them succeed in the future.

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