One of the easiest ways to teach your child anything is to have it put to a song or chant. Children naturally learn better through song as it is fun, engaging, and inherently low-pressure. As well, learning English with song and dance at a young age will help to foster strong listening skills which are crucial when learning a second language.
English songs are not a be-all, end-all, but used effectively they can help foster an English environment where your child can learn new vocabulary, experience an authentic English accent, and strengthen their English listening skills. In the past, we needed to bring in native teachers to teach songs, but nowadays we have the internet to give you access to thousands of great English songs where your child can learn English with song and dance. In our list below, we want to introduce you to some of our favorite phonics songs, numbers songs, and many more.
Also, just because I like these songs for teaching, doesn’t mean your child will, and that’s okay. One of the best students I ever had loved Bon Jovi songs. He was five years old and all he wanted to listen to was Bon Jovi, an 80’s rock star. He had some of the best English of any child I have ever met. His English was great because he listened to English songs, watched English TV, and spoke English with his dad every day. So as long as your child likes a song, that’s all that matters.
Don’t forget that there are ways, other than songs, to teach your children English in a fun way. Take a look at our list of fun English activities to help you make English fun for you and your kids.
If you need any more phonics help, check out our Vowels and Consonants home page for lessons, flashcards, and articles.
ABC and Phonics Songs
There is no better place than the ABCs to start your child’s English instruction. We have compiled a list of great ABC songs that you can use to get your child familiar with the English alphabet and with basic English phonics.
This is a classic take on the ABCs. No extra fluff, just the twenty-six letters put to calming background music.
A slightly more advanced version of the ABC song that gives a great introduction to basic phonics. This phonics song not only teaches the alphabet, but also the sounds that each letter makes, and a vocabulary word to go with each letter.
This fun ABC song is for all the animal lovers out there. Your child will not only practice their letters, but also they will learn English names for many different kinds of animals.
This ABC song comes courtesy of the unbeatable Sesame Street. Not only will this song teach the ABC’s, but it will also give your child an introduction to a show that many North American children also learn English from.
This series of videos goes over each of the letters of the alphabet. The video we have linked is Phonics Song A. What makes this video a cut above others is that the song is catchy and the vocab all starts with the letter A. This is a great way to teach your child the sounds for each letter in a fun way.
Finally, this song combines the ABC’s with fun tongue twisters to help expand your child’s vocabulary and supercharge their listening skills.
Numbers Songs in English
Another crucial skill for young learners is learning their numbers. Use these songs to get your child familiar with English numbers.
This is a great place to start for young learners. This song will teach your children how to count from 1-5, as well as some common verbs to go with them.
When I was teaching a group of four-year-olds, their favorite song was this counting 1-10 song. It didn’t matter if they already knew it perfectly, this was the way they wanted to warm up and get their minds ready to learn English.
Another perfect 1-10 song. What I love about this song is that it incorporates both numbers and teaches children the adjectives like first, second, and third. Many children learning English have a problem with the concept of first, second, third, etc., so teaching them early is always a great idea.
For more advanced learners, this song may be perfect. Made by the streaming giant Netflix, this numbers song combines great animation and fun lyrics to teach your children how to count to ten.
I find it is always hard to find good songs that teach children to count beyond 10. This song from Singing Walrus is a great exception that teaches children to count all the way to 100!
Classic Nursery Rhymes
Give your child an introduction to some of the songs and stories native English kids learn when they are children with these English nursery rhymes.
One of the first songs young children learn in English. Combine this catchy song with hand movements, and your kids will want to listen to this over and over.
Used as a good night song for children, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” is perfect for very young learners.
My kids love to sing this song. The actions are silly and require your full body. Always a lot of fun, and a great way to warm up students.
The “Clean Up Song” is one that every kid should know, if only so they might be a bit less messy. Easy to sing, and a fun video that goes with it.
Half story and half song, the story of the Gingerbread Man is always fun, and a great song around the holidays.
Without a doubt, your child has already heard this kid CD staple, but if not, the “Wheels on the Bus” is a classic that your child will love.
This version of “London Bridge” pairs some fun animation with the classic song to help your child love one of the original English kids’ songs.
Songs can be a super effective way to teach young children basic vocabulary. Use these songs to teach them important English words in an engaging way.
The Vegetable Song is going to do a great job of introducing your kids to some fun food words. Food words are always awesome to learn because they are something your children will see every day when they eat. This song is a great example of how we can learn English with song in a way that is fun for kids.
Teach your child about the planets in our solar system. Definitely for older kids, but always fun.
Lots of students have a really hard time remembering the months of the year. Start out teaching your kid their birthday month, they always love that! Follow that up with this great song.
A classic song that is going to get your children moving and learning about body parts and directions words. Who thought such a silly song could be so educational?
Another English song geared towards teaching your children about different body parts. Awesome animation puts this video above many others like it.
Have your kids practice their weather and season vocabulary with this modern pop song designed to teach children English.
Kids can learn different kinds of barnyard animals with this version of the classic song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”
Get your kids moving with this tune that teaches different action words.
The hit song that took the internet by storm, was originally a children’s song. Have this song help reinforce the names of different family members, but be careful it doesn’t get stuck in your head.
Colors are another important piece of vocabulary that we can easily have songs reinforce so that your child will have them mastered in no time.
Make sure your kids have a complete understanding of colors with this classic kids’ song.
With this song, your children can improve their color vocabulary. This song will not only go over many colors, but also pair them with common objects that share the same color.
A very catchy tune that uses full sentences to teach your child about colors.
This video is half-game and half-song. It teaches children different colors, while having them search for objects in the picture that have that color.
Simple Sentence Pattern Songs
I love using these songs in my classroom. They are a fun way for kids to listen to sentence patterns that I have already taught them. By putting them in a song, it gives them context where they can see how this grammar might be useful to them.
When I introduce my class to the “I can…” sentence pattern, this is the song I use. Not only does it go over the sentence pattern a lot, but it also teaches some fun animal nouns and action verbs to go with it.
Based on a wildly popular children’s book, this song tells a story in easy and repetitive sentences. Not only will children love the story, but it will give them an introduction to some basic sentence structures.
This song teaches your children the “I have…” sentence pattern, and then reinforces it with this great song. Kids will learn some pet vocabulary as well.
Another song from Super Simple Songs, this time teaching children the sentence “Do you like … ?” Fun to sing-a-long with, and kids will find it hilarious.
I hope this list has given you some ideas on songs you can start teaching your child with. Remember that the most important thing when a child is learning is that they have fun. It might be tempting to actively teach them each word, but ultimately, you want them to enjoy the experience and just soak up the English being presented to them. If they have questions, be there to answer them, but let them grow on their own and find joy in learning English.
If you have any questions or any requests for other kinds of songs you might be looking for, just leave us a message, and we will see what we can do.