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7 Classic Filipino Nursery Rhymes to Sing With Your Toddler
PHOTO BY Childrens Music Box/Youtube
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  • One of the best ways to bond and play with your little one is to sing nursery rhymes together. She may already know a bunch of English ones, but Filipino children's songs are a great foundation for making your kids speak their native tongue fluently, aside from being opportunities for learning. Introduce your kids to these classics from your childhood:

    1. Bahay Kubo

    Got a picky eater? Bahay Kubo introduces kids to a variety of local vegetables like sitaw, bataw, and patani. We like Knowledge Channel's animated version of the classic Pinoy nursery rhyme because they show what each of the veggies looks. Best case scenario? The song may even get your little one interested in trying some of the vegetables! Would you know how to cook these, mom?

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    2. Pen Pen De Sara Pen

    The lyrics don't really make any sense, but the silly words are fun to sing (anyone knows what “batuten” means?). Children like to use the rhyming song when playing games, like to pick out the “taya” when playing tag, for example. It's one of the songs that's the Pinoy equivalent of “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe!”

    3. Tong Tong Tong Pakitong-kitong

    This can be a rather simple song with just one verse dedicated to the difficulties of catching crabs at sea. Fortunately, Pinoys like to turn it into a playful game where the verse repeats, but with every vowel replaced with just one designated vowel (e.g. “alimango” turns into “alamanga”). Coupled with silly hand gestures, it will have you and your kiddo in fits of giggles by the end. (Find a Cebuano version with vocals here.)

    4. Sampung Malulusog na Bata

    A lot of the time, Pinoy kids learn to count in English before they do in Filipino. Teach your kiddo numbers in our native tongue with this fun counting song. Use your fingers, or you can even make an activity out of it and make finger puppets!

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    5. Tatlong Bibe

    Here's one that's gained an upshot in popularity last year as different covers of the song went viral on social media. The song, which has a tune similar to the lullaby “Hush, Little Baby,” is easy to act along with (one of the reasons why it went viral!) so feel free to come up with your own actions.

    6. Leron Leron Sinta

    We bet your little one will be singing this at school! Teach it at home, and it's an opportunity to introduce your child to the richness of our language and learn words that he might not encounter in everyday conversations like “sisidlan” and “buslo.” The video above already conveniently adds actions to the catchy tune as well.

    7. Ako Ay May Lobo

    This may not be such a happy song, but it is a beloved Pinoy favorite. It tells the story of a child who loses a balloon that's flown up to the sky. The lyrics and melody are simple, but it is what makes the song so touching in the first place.

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