At The Garden Academy, we never stop repeating it: music is essential to learning a language. Like a language, a song is a series of notes that a child processes and learns to easily produce themselves. Humming a nursery rhyme in English requires the possibility of repeating words without
necessarily paying attention to their meaning. Mimicry allows children to free themselves and practice without worrying about accuracy of what they say. It is only by doing that we learn!
The Importance of Music in Acquiring Languages
In addition to getting an ear accustomed to a foreign language, one of the main advantages of music as a teaching tool is that it repeats words, phrases, sentences, and expressions. All of these with a melody and rhythm that allows children to memorize and learn them easily.
From a Sequence of Sounds to the Understanding of a Text
When a child manages to sing a nursery rhyme or song, sometimes even dance to it, the next step is to identify the words that are used. Some that they already know, others that they will discover until they have deciphered the lyrics in their entirety. Have you ever met a Frenchman or Woman with a perfect American accent that tells you they learned English completely through the music they listen to?
Now that you are convinced of the benefits of learning English through music, let’s begin to practice. It’s not just about typing “songs for children,” “english songs,” or “nursery rhymes” in the search bar! In this article, you will find our selection of essential English songs and nursery rhymes that you can listen to on repeat at home or on the road to vacation depending on the age and level of your child. No more Henri Dés and Company. Here are our Top 10 Songs to Teach English to Children.
It is obviously THE nursery rhyme that everyone knows. It is so catchy that you will not be able to get it out of your head, and will be so easy for your child to memorize. For little ones and beginners, its melody and looping lyrics are perfectly suited to learning while having fun. On YouTube Kids, you will find various versions of “Baby Shark.” The different variations and dancing are accompanied by the unmistakable “Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo” at the end of each verse.
You will also discover a multitude of titles of English songs for children on a wide variety of themes ranging from farm animals to parts of the human body. Some will even be subtitled, which will allow your child of reading age, or you the parent to spot unfamiliar vocabulary to learn. The “pause” function on YouTube will also give you the opportunity to dissect the lyrics of each song so your child no longer has to only hum, but will understand the whole story it tells.
Super Simple Songs is a YouTube Channel for English children’s songs. It has more than 36 million subscribers worldwide, thanks in particular to its easy to remember mimed songs created by early childhood educators. By clicking on “Playlists,” you can launch an album, a series of nursery rhymes and English songs that your child can listen to or watch. You can also download the app for more supervised use. With Super Simple Songs, we also recommend the “Clean Up Song,” “This is the Way,” “If You Are Happy,” “The Bear Went Over the Mountain” or the “Bye Bye, Goodbye” Song for kids. More than 100 nursery rhymes are available for all tastes and suitable for children from 1 to 6 years old.
Thinking of the little ones, the nursery rhyme “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” is mimed and very short. It allows the youngest of children to remember it easily while working on their English accent while enriching their vocabulary on the human body. It is a fun song that is almost like a game as children must coordinate their movements while they sing. You will find it adapted a thousand ways, but our favorite version is the one you will find on the Bounce Patrol YouTube channel with more vocabulary and a mini challenge for children thanks to an accelerated pace during the song.
Sesame Street is one of the YouTube channels with many resources to teach English to children while having fun thanks to its puppets reminiscent of the ones of the famous Muppet Show. “If You’re Happy and You Know It” is a very educational song. Like “Baby Shark,” its repetition is what drives learning.
CocoMelon Nursery Rhymes & Kids Songs offers English songs played in the form of a cartoon to capture the children’s full attention. It always starts with a small story that unfolds with catchy songs on the subject of everyday life, such as “Old McDonald” and his “E-I-E-I-O,” “Hello Song,” or “Home Sweet Home.” The YouTube channel also offers songs on deeper themes like gratitude with the Thank You Song, or the subject of love with “Skidamarink.”
Laurie Berkner sings, accompanied by her guitar and sometimes by her group of musicians, songs mainly for 3 to 8 year olds. Her YouTube channel already has more than 270,000 subscribers and are sometimes introduced by a very educational short course on the subject of a song in order to promote good understanding and memorization.
The HooplaKidz The HooplaKidz channel offers songs in English for children in preschool and kindergarten. You can also directly download the app for easier use. “Yankee Doodle Went To Town” is still very popular since it was an American patriotic song.
The publisher Didier Jeunesse has many English books in its catalog (which we recommend you discover!), but also CD’s for parents who would like the possibility of leaving the child to use the reader alone. They can listen to the songs in their room as they want. The most beautiful nursery rhymes and songs in English is a CD suitable for children ages 3 to 5. It brings together, as the name so well suggests, a nice repertoire in English for 51 minutes.
9 · Let It Go, Frozen, Disney
MyVoxSongs Nursery Rhymes on the Spotify platform is also a great source of English songs and nursery rhymes for toddlers. If you browse Spotify, you will find other playlists for songs in English and for slightly older ages, such as Disney. Your children will certainly know a few songs from the famous production studio by heart and will be able to recognize certain words in another language. This will enrich their vocabulary and help them find it fun to discover this song they know and love so much, in another language. “Under the Sea,” the famous song interpreted by Sébastien, the crab from “The Little Mermaid” should enliven them like “Hakuna Matata” in “The Lion King,” or the essential “Let it Go,” (that’s it, you already have it in your head!). For older children, High School Musical, Disney’s hit musical which brought together millions of young viewers, will be a great ally in learning English! What could be better for your child than to put themselves in the shoes of their hero or heroine to dream? And for the occasion, they could learn the original version of their favorite songs!
10 · Happy, Pharrell Williams
Who can resist singing and dancing along to the beat of the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams? Or Justin Timberlake’s catchy song “Can’t Stop the Feeling” that your kids may have already heard in the Dreamworks animated film “Trolls?” Nobody. Children…they can also be just like adults!
As joyful as it is catchy, this compilation is perfect to start your day on the right foot! You will also find many playlists on The Singing Walrus YouTube channel. Always very stimulating with a little bit of rock atmosphere!
So, download a few apps, and create habits at home by playing a playlist in English found on Spotify while preparing dinner. Browse on Amazon, FNAC, or in bookstores. Build your collection of titles and share as a family. Teaching and singing to your children in English can be exciting and fun.