The 2020-2021 school year is an obvious shift from what everyone’s vision of a traditional school year. My youngest was “supposed” to go to our local preschool this year, but plans sure did change! As a result, we decided to continue some sort of education at home and I’ve drawn up some plans to teach a modified preschool curriculum at home. Music is so important to us and I wholeheartedly believe in the power of music in education, so it was important to me to incorporate that as a cornerstone in our educational approach. So, I created a list of songs for each letter of the alphabet!
I’ve found several songs over the years that highlight phonics and individual letters, as well as the entire alphabet. I use those, too. But sometimes, we just need to hear songs that use the letter and letter sounds. Home and virtual learning is HARD. I hope this list can help guide you through your journey as your young ones learn letters!
* A — Apples and Bananas
This is a good one because if you start the alphabet in September (in alphabetical order), you can land “A” with an “Apples” unit. It also introduces long vowel sounds.
This is an old Barney video that personally sends me on a nostalgic journey to my younger years.
* B — Baby Beluga
The alteration helps drive the “B” sound home. Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea…
Check out Mr. Zack playing Baby Beluga here!
* C — C is for Cookie
A classic. Who doesn’t love Cookie Monster?
Cookie cookie cookie!
* D — Down by the Bay
This one is always so silly and will also help reinforce rhyming.
Here’s Mr. DJ playing it!
* E — Elephant Steps
E for elephant is a popular connection. Add in some giant elephant stomps for some gross-motor, too!
Stomp stomp, check it out here.
* F — Five Green and Speckled Frogs
This is a favorite in our house and uses easy and natural alliteration for the five frogs. When counting, you can also point out that five and four also start with “f.”
Mr. DJ loves his green frogs, too, except his surf.
* G — Green Grass Grows All Around
I love this song, and if you’re spending the week using this song, it’s helpful to draw out each verse to point to at the right part of the song. The visual definitely makes it easier to remember everything that happens in the woods.
For some more 90s flashbacks, here’s Jewel’s version.
* H — Happy Tappin’ With Elmo
“H” and “happy” are another easy and logical connection. You can also supplement with “Happy and you Know It,” but “Happy Tappin’…” is good for when you want some free movement to dance.
This one is titled “Elmo’s Debut,” but his debut is the song, which starts at about :30.
* I — I Love the Mountains
If you feel up to it, you can also make this song into a fun round where person 1 starts singing from the beginning when person 2 finishes the line “…rolling hills.”
You can also opt to sing a round with this video.
* J — Jack and Jill
A classic nursery rhyme with more helpful alliteration.
Lisa Loeb did some great children’s’ song covers, including this.
* K — Kangaroo Song
Kangaroo’s are such a unique animal. This song is an easy melody that will help reinforce the “k” sound.
Everyone can dance, too!
* L — Ladybugs’ Picnic
I can’t pinpoint exactly why, but this song is one of my favorites. Bonus, it helps with counting!
12 ladybugs came to the ladybug’s picnic.
* M — Muffin Man
More classic nursery and alliteration. Not featured is the Shrek memories.
But he still lives on Drury Lane!
* N — No No No
Apologies in advance if your child starts walking around proclaiming “no” at every request you make.
Sing it, Oscar.
* O — Open Shut Them
There are a few different versions of this song, but I like it because it opens with a long “O” (that can be exaggerated during teaching) and connects the song to fine and gross motor movements, manners, and opposites.
This video helps with the movements.
* P — POP Goes the Weasel
POP! This one definitely reinforces the “P” sound. You can also exaggerate the “p” in “penny.”
Lisa Loeb does a very nice, basic version of this song. She also does speaks “Peter Piper” on this album, so if you’re up to it…
* Q — Que Sera Sera
OK, I’ll admit it. Q was a tough one and this one seems a bit of a stretch. But if Spanish language education is in your lesson, this is doubly helpful.
It was used in The Muppets, but here is Doris Day’s original.
* R — Rubber Duckie
* Ernie laugh* Need I say more?
* S — A Sailor Went to See See See
To add some movement to this song, stand or sit (opposite whatever you’re doing) each time you hear an “s” word (This also works for the song “My Bonnie” with the “b” words). It makes for a lot of ups, downs, and giggles.
Here’s The Kiboomers singing their version!
* T — Tooty Ta
“Tooty Ta” has a fun little dance with it and does a great job driving home that hard “t” sound. Dr. Jean does a great job, but I know there a few other versions out there.
See Dr. Jean’s dance here.
* U — Umbrella
This is a good one for a rainy day for its obvious theme. It showcases an umbrella with that short “u” sound.
This one is by one of our favorites, The Laurie Berkner Band.
* V — Victor Vito
I really tried not to go back to back on this list, but Victor Vito is such a fun Laurie Berkner one that showcases the V sound TWICE. Yes, you guessed it, I love my alliteration when teaching letter sounds.
Apologies in advance for all of the food cravings this may bring on.
* W — Willoughby Wallaby Woo
Made popular by Raffi and The Wiggles, this is a fun way to incorporate the names of family and friends that your children may be missing right now.
Mr. DJ did a fun version here!
* X — What does the FoX Say?
This one was another near impossible one. There are few songs about X-Rays and the default word “xylophone” doesn’t actually make an “x” sound. I teach the letter “x” by using words that end in X, such as “box” or “fox.” So naturally, we wonder we wonder what the fox says. FYI, if you don’t know what the fox says, it’s nothing like the song says. It’s really quite terrifying.
If you’d like a choreographed dance with it, check this Just Dance video out.
* Y — Yakety Yak
My kids always giggle with the “don’t talk back!” line. Yakety and yak are each silly words (if a word at all)
For my fellow 90s parents, I hope you appreciate the Tiny Toons throwback!
* Z — Zoom Zoom Zoom
It may sound like virtual meeting after virtual meeting, but this is a fun one for your little astronauts!
This one is by The Kiboomers.
Be sure to check out the Jam Cats videos here. We do several of these songs, as well as a few more that can be helpful additions!