Using YouTube Videos To Encourage Imitation

Imitation was a super hard skill for us to learn. I’m not sure why but anytime I sang or made a funny face, my son would just look at me puzzled and then get bored and walk away. Like “Mom…you look weird…is that it…okbai.” I just couldn’t figure out how to help him learn to imitate. I memorized every nursery rhyme I forgot since childhood (because it had been replaced by all the lyrics to every Queen and Tom Petty song), but to no avail.

Then I found a wonderful video series on YouTube called Super Simple Songs. Each video segment lasts about an hour and showcases the best nursery rhymes accompanied by colorful cartoons or puppets.


My son loved watching the charming videos and it gave me a chance to finally have my coffee…that had been sitting in the microwave, reheated for the fifteenth time. Being a Mom is hard, and these videos gave us both a really nice break from our routine.

Then something fascinating started to happen. On the billionth time we watched “One Little Finger” my son started to point his index finger along with the tv! I couldn’t believe it. As wonderful as I’m sure my vocal talents are to my son, there was something special about watching these characters sing the same song over and over that it clicked. He started imitating what they were doing. And to generalize this new skill, I would sing his favorites from the show so we could both act out the motions to the song. This helped reinforce what he was learning every day. Ah, thank goodness for technology.

What I didn’t know at the time was this wasn’t just another video channel of cartoons. These videos were created by dedicated educators to help engage young minds. Phew, now I don’t have to feel so guilty about all the TV.

The team behind Super Simple Learning got their start while teaching English to children in Japan. The teachers were having trouble “finding songs that were both simple and fun enough to engage our young learners. So we started making our own!” Their award-winning CDs, books, and other learning materials can now be found in homes and classrooms around the world…including online.

If you’re struggling with reaching a goal, don’t be afraid to experiment with other resources to help bridge the learning gap for your child.