The New York Public Library is your partner in helping young children grow up to be strong readers and thinkers. Through this album, we focus on singing as a wonderful way for parents, caregivers, and librarians to bond with children and help them become self-confident, curious, and intrepid learners with a lifelong love of reading. Use this webpage to learn about the important developmental skill each song represents and how easily you can reinforce these skills every day with your child.
Download the full album as .MP3 files or .WAV files
Click here to download lyrics.
Greetings from NYCRead, talk, sing, write, and play with your children in the language you know best! You are more likely to feel confident and to practice strong literacy skills in your native tongue. Exposure to multiple languages also helps children develop their problem solving skills, creativity, and vocabulary, while helping them understand the value of diversity, empathy, and inclusivity.
I Read EverywhereYou can read everywhere! As you travel around the city, point out words on street signs, bus stops, and shop windows, or go on a “letter walk” and ask your child to find a specific letter in the neighborhood. Always remember to sound out the words you see to help your child make the connection between how letters look and sounds.
Dealing with FeelingsHave fun with feelings! Expressing emotions can be difficult for young children. Help them name their feelings so they can better understand and regulate their feelings as they grow and enter new social situations, such as school. Try using a mirror to model and identify different feelings. You can also use books to help discuss difficult emotions or label the feelings of different characters. Remember to ask your local librarian for book recommendations!
Questions (or Arctic Wolves Don’t Eat People)Always ask questions while you read! Try asking a mix of different questions to help keep your child engaged and promote their critical thinking skills. Open-ended questions, such as "how would you feel?" or "what do you think will happen next?" build reading comprehension. For younger children with less vocabulary, try simple questions about the pictures in the story, like "can you find ___?" or "what color is this?"
Every Day Is a New DayGet into a daily rhythm! Routines are really important for young children. Creating and discussing routines helps them make choices, feel independent, and gain valuable self-help skills. Establishing routines with clear transitions between activities also helps your child progress from one activity to the next and sets them up for school success.
Are You Ready to Move?Move with your child! Engaging in physical activity with children promotes togetherness and builds healthy habits. Movement encourages creative expression in young children and lets them experience the rhythms heard when reading. Let your child take the lead as you boogie from the park to the kitchen!
Grandpa's FarmMake sounds and sing rhymes with your child! Sounds are the building blocks of words. When reading books about animals, encourage your child to make animal sounds. Creating identifiable sounds helps get young children ready to read.
Play Song (Better with Two)Play with your child! The world of play builds vocabulary and storytelling skills, which are critical to language development. Most importantly, entering the imaginative world of your child is a great way to bond with them. Children who are confident in their bond with their grown-up are more likely to be intellectually curious, explore the world around them, and then "come back to you."
LullabyBe attentive to your child’s needs! This helps strengthen your bond and promotes healthy child development. Mirror your baby’s first sounds, hug your toddler when they’re crying, and talk to your preschooler about their feelings. All of these are responsive interactions that build the brain and create emotional security, which encourages a lifetime of exploration and learning.
NYPL Sings (Library Song)Visit your local library with your child! Having books in the home is linked to school success, and the Library is a great place to find free books for every interest. Borrow books and read together every day to build the essential reading skills needed for school and life-long learning.
Support for the Early Literacy Initiative was generously provided by the Andreas C. Dracopoulos Family Endowment for Young Audiences, The Lisa E. Javitch Early Literacy Initiative, the Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation, the Gray Foundation, New York State Library’s Family Literacy Library Services Program, the NYPL Council Committee for Education, Staten Island Foundation, HBO®, Richmond County Savings Foundation, The Sirus Fund, and an anonymous donor, with additional support through City’s First Readers, an initiative made possible with funding from the New York City Council.