Using Songs in Speech Therapy

songs for speech therapy

By using classic children’s songs, we can turn speech therapy sessions into an enjoyable activity that captivates children’s attention and boosts their language learning. I always start my preschool speech therapy sessions with a song as I explained in my post on using a visual schedule in speech therapy.

In this article, I will highlight a few classic children’s songs that are perfect for early childhood speech therapy. From targeting vocabulary to teaching action words, you will get ideas on how to use specific lyrics to help children reach their speech and language goals. By engaging kids in fun and interactive songs, it can help make speech therapy less intimidating and more enjoyable. So, let’s dive in and discover how music can be a powerful tool in enhancing speech therapy sessions!

I like using songs that are based on the same original tune for different themes. For example, “Five Little Ducks” or “Mommy Finger, Daddy Finger” have a familiar tune. There are many different themed songs using the same tune. When kids know the tune, changing the words for the theme is super easy. We made one up for Christmas with “Santa finger, reindeer finger, baby elf,” and more!

Songs for Early Vocabulary

“Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” is a classic children’s song that has been used with children to target vocabulary for decades. Many of my 3-year-olds have goals for identifying body parts. This song is perfect for teaching body parts. Children can follow along and touch the corresponding body parts as they sing. Encourage children to point to their heads, shoulders, knees, and toes throughout the song.

“Old MacDonald Had a Farm” can help with animal vocabulary and animal sounds. Demonstrate for children how to moo like a cow, quack like a duck, and oink like a pig as they sing along. Use real toys while you sing to make connections to object names.

Any song that incorporates repetition with basic vocabulary is perfect for young children with language deficits.

using songs in speech therapy

Songs for Basic Concepts

In addition to helping children learn new vocabulary words and word sounds, music can also be used to teach concepts. One such song is “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” The lyrics of this classic song encourage children to identify their emotions and express them through movement, such as clapping their hands or stomping their feet. This can be a fun way to help children with speech difficulties learn how to properly articulate their feelings and emotions.

“The Wheels on the Bus” can be used to teach children about transportation, vehicle sounds, and also basic concepts. Encourage children to imitate the sounds of a bus, a car, or a train, while also learning new words like “wipers,” “horn,” and “driver.” This song provides a fun way to engage children to make environmental sounds for those who might be struggling with speech overall. Open/close, Up/Down, Around, and to the Side are all early qualitative and spatial concepts.

“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” is another familiar children’s song that I use in speech therapy sessions. This song is perfect for practicing pitch variation, which is important for expressive speech. The song also includes repetitive lyrics that can help children with language and articulation difficulties. By singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and encouraging the child to join in, the therapist can teach children how to control their volume through whispering and speaking.

“Itsy Bitsy Spider” is a childhood favorite that never gets old. This song is great for its catchy melody and fun actions and can also be used to target spatial concepts. The song teaches sequencing and storytelling through the narrative of the spider climbing up the water spout and getting washed out by the rain.

Songs for Action Words

Incorporating songs that focus on action words can be beneficial for speech therapy sessions. These types of songs encourage children to participate in actions that correspond with the lyrics, allowing them to move around while learning. Singing and performing the actions together can help the child improve their language and communication skills in a fun and engaging way.

“I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee” is one that my students love because of all the actions involved. “Squishing and wiping” are fun to act out. I also like this song because of the personal pronouns used “I’m, me, my” and subjective pronouns “he, she, it.”

“If You’re Happy and You Know It” is another classic tune that I like to use in speech therapy sessions. This song is great for encouraging children to use a variety of action words such as clapping, stomping, and nodding.

Click Here to Access One of My Playlists for Speech


songs for speech therapy

It is important to remember that speech therapy should not be a source of stress or frustration for children. When children are having fun and singing along with you, they are more likely to be comfortable working on communication. In this way, speech therapy sessions can become an enjoyable and positive experience for both the child and the therapist.

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