Using Song to Teach Your Child His Name

I remember when my daughter started calling herself by her first name. See, she has a “real” name (Esella), but from the time she was a baby well past her first birthday we called her by her nick-name Ellie pretty much all the time. After her first birthday, we made an effort to start calling her BOTH names, and ironically when she started calling herself by her first name, she used her real name, Esella, despite the fact that nearly everyone (including grandparents) called her Ellie.

W with our dog Ainsley two years ago…how time flies!

Then we had our beautiful baby boy Everett, and one day I made up this little song using his FULL NAME and, because E’s name is similar in syllable structure and length, her full name fit the song too. And E LOVED when I would sing it. When I would sing it to Ev, she would say “Me now, Me now!” and I would have to do her name too.

One of my most favorite pics of Ev.

Now, before I go on, you need to understand that my children have been tortured blessed with not only first and middle names, but also Chinese names. If you haven’t figured it out by my last name, my husband is (half) Chinese. Though my daughter is as white as white can be, both she and Ev (who’s skin and eyes are quite darker than E’s) are a 1/4 Chinese. Both my husband and his sister (and all their cousins) were given Chinese names, and it was important to us that we continue that with our children.

Even if that meant their names would be ridiculously long, because I wanted traditional English middle names also. I have a thing for middle names that have meaning. (Hey – their last name is only 3 letters long, so it evens it out, right??)

Oh…and have I mentioned yet that their Chinese names are actually TWO words each? So they each have five names on their birth certificate. Hopefully they won’t hate us too much for thisHA!

{浩恩 This is Everett’s Chinese name… Any guesses on what it says and what it means??}

So anyway back to my story (and point). I started singing this song all the time, and one day my daughter says, “Everett {English Middle Name} {Chinese Name} {Last Name}, what are you doing?” She used his whole darn name! Then she proceeds to tell me HER entire whole name. I didn’t even realize it but my silly song taught my daughter both her own full name and her brother’s full name! (And she may or may not “middle name” her little brother all the time, and I may or may not think its ridiculously adorable. Particularly when he has climbed on top of the coffee table for the 1388th time that day… “Everett {English Middle Name}, get off that coffee table!”)

Our little climber…

So…I cannot, for the life of me, think of the name of the tune that I use to sing my children their “name song.” I sing it to the tune of some children’s song though, so I would just try using a common children’s song tune and make up a song using your child’s name. To make it most effective, I would try to repeat their name at least 2-3 times within the song. This is how mine goes.

Everett {English Middle Name} {Chinese Name} {Last Name},

Everett {English Middle Name} {Chinese Name} {Last Name},

Everett {English Middle Name} {Chinese Name} {Last Name},

Is the cutest little boy in the whole wide world.

Then for my daughter, I use her name and use girl rather than boy. SIMPLE yet quite effective. ;) I just wish I could recall what tune I am using…

So there you have it. Want to teach your baby/toddler/preschooler his/her name? Just make up a fun tune and sing it often! I would recommend this both to parents of typical kids and to parents of kids with speech/language/learning delays.

Do you have any little songs you have made up about your kids? I’d love to hear about them!


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