How to Create Family Jingles With Your Kids
Need a way to help your kids remember important information?
Create a family jingle. It’s fun your family will never forget, and is a great way to improve memory in minds young and old.
In this article, I’ll show you how to create simple, fun and entertaining songs with your kids to make your own family songs.
Why Create Original Family Music?
Is there music from your childhood that bring back special memories, emotions and experiences? Would you like to give your children similar feelings when they look back on their youth?
Creating songs together—whether they’re used as art or as information—will give your family something unique to them, something truly memorable and special.
Music Makes Information Stick
As a kid, I used to take afternoon breaks from the heat and watch reruns of The Andy Griffith Show on WGN-TV (a Chicago station) with my dad.
Almost without fail, during the commercial breaks an ad for a carpet company would air. I was a little kid in Alabama with no need for flooring that could only be delivered in the Chicago area, but my young mind memorized the telephone number of the Empire Carpet Company.
This song has been stuck in my head for years!
I can still hear the jingle playing in my head thirty years later! And I bet you’ve got a similar story.
What I didn’t know then is that the marketing and advertising folks behind Empire Carpet were using music as a mnemonic device. (The “m” is silent.) A mnemonic device is a fancy term for a memory tool that allows us to remember pieces of information by putting that information into an easy-to-recall sequence.
This same type of mnemonic device is utilized when we all learn the classic alphabet song. It’s much easier to memorize 26 consecutive letters of the alphabet when we can just sing a song.
The Alphabet song is a mnemonic device.
Using mnemonics increases learning of all kinds. They’re a great way to help your little ones remember everything from household information to schoolwork to family experiences.
A few years ago, we moved into a new house. My wife taught our two kids our address with a simple song that repeats the address over and over again.
Here’s the song we used to teach our kids their address.
By the time our kids were 2 and 3, they had memorized their address. The learning was not based on dry, boring memorization; it was based on a fun song. We still sing it all the time, and it’s been 4 years!
Is there something you’d like your kids to remember? Use a jingle to help them memorize it!
Music Makes Moments More Memorable
Think of some of the most memorable scenes in movies or TV. They are often tied to music that enhances your memory.
Every time you hear “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, you think of John Travolta’s character strutting down the street in the opening scene of Saturday Night Fever.
What about the above-mentioned Andy Griffith Show? The show’s whistling theme song is as much a part of the show as the characters.
Music creates emotion that enhances moments, and also makes life more entertaining.
You can create songs with your kids that will become the soundtrack to your family’s life and experiences. I’ll show you how.
#1: Think of a Subject
You can literally write a song about anything. That’s what is so fun and adventurous about original family songs.
Think of important information that your kids need to know. No matter what the subject is, it could probably be conveyed more easily by putting it to music.
Do you find yourself constantly reminding your kids of their responsibilities? Make a song out of them and replace nagging with a fun, singing reminder that they’ll actually listen to.
My family recently wrote a song about our kids’ nighttime routine that we call the “Clean Routine.” Now bedtime goes a lot more smoothly for all of us.
Another source of song ideas is your kids themselves. Write something about their lives into a song.
To make it fun, ask them to imagine themselves in a movie. If their daily lives were set to music, what they would want their character’s soundtrack to be?
Here are a few other examples of the varied topics that you can write about:
- Create a singing invitation for your child’s birthday party
- A gift for a grandparent
- Vacation summary
- Remembering important information
Can you think of others?
#2: Write the Lyrics and Make Them Rhyme
The next step is to put your ideas into words and make them rhyme.
Keep it simple and get the kids’ input for your lyrics.
Now go write some lyrics! It will be fun for all of you.
#3: Think of a Fun Tune
The next step in creating a family song is to marry the lyrics with a tune. You can either make up your own melody or add your new lyrics to a song you already know.
Note: This could be combined with step two if your rhyming scheme was based on a preexisting song.
In this video, you can see the clean routine set to music.
Certain songs like these have familiar tunes that your kids already know:
- Home on the Range
- Mary Had a Little Lamb
- He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
- Baa Baa Black Sheep, Frere Jacques
- Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
It’s easy to replace the original lyrics with your family’s original words and set your song to a well-known tune.
But the most fun is to encourage your children’s own musical creativity. To do this, give your kids the lyrics and have them sing the song back to you with their idea of what the tune should be. You’ll be amazed at what they come up with!
#4: Repeat Often
This is where the memories really begin! Sing your unique songs over and over. The more you sing them, the more they become part of your family.
Imagine every time a kid or parent remembers a song and starts to sing it, and the whole family erupts into singing and smiles. Good memories are being made! That’s what happens when we sing the “Clean Routine.” And your family will make good memories with your own family jingle.
Some Final Thoughts…
Original family songs are keepsakes that can be a memorable and meaningful part of your family’s legacy. Songs allow your family to remember specific information that may otherwise prove challenging to recall. They also bring a family closer together by bonding kids and parents to the creation and the continued singing of the songs.
What do you think? Tell me about the songs you’ve created with your family. What other topics would make great family songs? Please share your thoughts, songs and pictures in the comments below.