The Froebel Trust funded a project designed by the charity Family Lives to encourage parents/carers to sing with their babies and young children.
This project involved the development of short, accessible videos to promote ‘mother songs’ which will help parents learn and understand the benefits of music and songs to help bond with their baby or toddler, create intimacy between them and aid the development of the baby’s brain and language development.
The project aimed to focus on development in the early years and the benefits of parents singing with their child to improve relationships within families and intercultural understanding.
The videos that were created feature real parents (both men and women) singing with their baby or toddler, using gestures and actions to help viewers learn how to sing interactive songs with their child. Most current videos available are cartoon based and do not actively show or encourage the interaction between parent (adult) and child.
The aims of the Let's Sing Together project were:
- To create a suite of accessible resources (up to 20 short videos) which parents/carers can use with their baby to aid brain development, language development and the adult-child relationship.
- To encourage more parents/adults to sing with their baby.
- To reach families who may not otherwise have access to music/singing classes due to prohibitive costs, rurality, cultural resistance or access issues by providing the resources in a highly accessible digital format.
- To reach families from different cultures in the UK and promote intercultural awareness by including songs/music from the predominant cultures in the UK.
Family Lives is a national charity which offers family support services through their helpline and website. They offer tailored support around issues such as bullying, special educational needs, and support for specific communities.
"Children are born ready, able and eager to learn and interact with other people, and in the world around them. Singing with your young child or baby is a great way of connecting with them and aiding their cognitive, language, and emotional development. Babies and young children love nursery rhymes, and the rhythm of songs and rhymes helps with the development of their language. Songs with actions in them are especially good because babies can join in with them by moving their body or doing the actions with their hands, long before they can sing along. Your child will be able to start with simple actions like clapping, or opening and closing their hands, and gradually learn to do more complicated actions as they grow and develop."