Songs for Summer
I cannot believe Summer is already around the corner! As we finalize our summer schedule, we are putting together lots of ideas for this year’s summer theme – Underwater! We have new decorations, instruments, and sensorimotor props just for our theme. Last year we shared all of our summer Moana ideas. This year I wanted to share our summer underwater plans with you! Our groups and sessions are typically for children ages 3 – 10, but we will also be using some of these activities in our teen groups and sessions.
Songs for Speech
Language development is one of my favorite areas to target in sessions and groups! From articulation to pragmatic use of language, we have activities for every child you serve.
Baby Shark – This has been a hit with my clients for years! Instead of singing “doo” during the hook of the song, replace this syllable sound with another one that your client is working on. For example, you could sing “go” or “ka” in place of “doo”.
I Hear the Water – I typically sing this song while using the scarf canopy, moving up and down overhead of my clients or while playing the ocean drum. I sing the song a cappella and have my clients fill in the blanks of the song. I sing “I see the…” and they have to fill in “ocean” or “raindrops”. I also give them a chance to make up what they see, hear, or feel during different opportunities in the song.
Baby Beluga – A classic children’s song, I use this in tandem with a book to work on both receptive and expressive language skills. Using the visual also gives children the opportunity to identify written words with images in the book and a chance to create sentences with images they see.
Boom Chicka Boom – I used to sing this song in summer camp all the time. It is a simple back and forth chant that all children seem to love. We first chant the song in our “regular voices”. Then we might chant the song in our “loud voices” or “whisper voices”, and we always chant the song in our “underwater voices”. You create this sound effect by buzzing your lips together on the word “boom” so it sounds like you are talking underwater. It is a great opportunity for vocal exploration as well as discussing how the way we say our words affects other’s interpretations of what we are saying.
Songs for Auditory Processing
Auditory processing is a tricky skill and is one I focus on in my older groups for kids 7 & up. Auditory processing is the brain’s ability to hear something (a direction, for example) and process the information that is being said. It seems easy, but training the neural pathways from ear to brain can be tricky. That’s why I love using music activities to strengthen these pathways in a fun and creative way!
Hole in the Bottom of the Sea – Here’s another song every kid seems to know, but can they sequence pictures along with the song in the order they hear them? I create visuals for each part of the song (hole, tree, frog, etc. - the version linked uses sharks and eels!) that velcro together. I then have my clients put the visuals together in the order of the song. I have them place the visuals on in time with the song first, then I see if they can sequence the visuals in the order of the song without hearing it again. This way is a little trickier and really tests those auditory processing skills.
Carnival of the Animals: Aquarium – This activity is a little trickier because it requires more complex auditory processing skills, as well as abstract thought and creativity. I play the Carnival of the Animals: Aquarium song once and ask my clients what they hear in the song. I then pass out paper and crayons. I play the song again, and ask my clients to draw what they hear. For example, if the music sounds like it’s going down, you might draw rain drops falling down. You’ll be impressed with what they hear! You then can explore different colors they might assign to the things they hear, as well as the emotions they assign to the sounds.
I hope these songs and activities will give you ideas for your own summer sessions or classes. Stay tuned for our next post where I'll share our underwater activities for cognitive and motor skills!
What are your favorite underwater songs to use in session? Let us know in the comments below!