Love it or hate it, listening to “Santa Shark” could actually improve children’s speech skills and vocabulary. According to speech-language pathologists, the holiday version of the viral song “Baby Shark” is an effective way to teach kids new words.
“This song is great for learning verbs and combining words,” explained Andi Putt, a pediatric speech-language pathologist, of the Christmas tune, created by YouTube channel Super Simple Songs. “A lot of parents tend to focus on labeling nouns when working on learning vocabulary, but it’s important to remember that we communicate using so much more than just nouns.”
Putt then provides parents with different activities, like coloring a picture or putting on a “Santa Shark” puppet show, that she recommends pairing with the song to work on a child’s speech. “I also like to make up my own words to sing to fit what we are doing throughout our day ‘get-ting dressed do do do do do,’ ‘eat your food do do do do do,’ etc,” she says.
Speech-language pathologist Laura Brown agrees that combining some sort of playing with the song is a great idea for boosting a child’s vocabulary.
“It has been proven that play and other motor activities facilitate language development,” she told Romper. “Encouraging a child to get up and dance while singing, or pretending to be a shark swimming around is great to increase the likelihood that these concepts are going to be remembered and recalled later.”
First released on November 29, the “Santa Shark” music video already has over 6.5 million views on YouTube alone. For parents who are tired of the tune, Putt adds that Super Simple Song’s other new holiday release, “Peekaboo Christmas,” provides the same speech benefits.