Using Music in Therapy: Apples and Bananas

I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas…

In honor of March being Nutrition Month, here is a fun, food-related song that can be used to target a variety of goals with children! “Apples and Bananas” is a classic children’s song that has been recorded by Raffi, Barney, The Wiggles, and more. Learn from our Music Therapist about how this musical activity offers a motivating way to practice letter and sound identification, self-expression, and social skills.


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Skills Addressed:

Letter and Sound Identification

  • Identifying letters, and the sounds they make, is a fundamental part of learning how to read. 
  • Between verses of “Apples and Bananas,” write vowels on a whiteboard or piece of paper, or use flashcards. 
  • Model letter names and sounds for your child. Hold up or point to the vowel, and model: “This is the letter E! E sounds like _____.” Then sing through the verse using that vowel sound.
  • You can also use this song to support your child’s independent practice of this skill! Hold up visuals and ask, “What letter is this? What sound does it make?”


Self Expression

  • Offering opportunities for self-expression helps children to build confidence, creativity, and independence.
  • Use “Apples and Bananas” to practice self-expression by encouraging your child to make the song their own! 
  • Ask your child to name two of their favorite foods to replace “apples and bananas.” Then, sing the new version back to them! “I like to eat, eat, eat, sandwiches and yogurt!” 
  • Whether your child uses verbalizations, an AAC device, or picture cards to communicate, this activity is a great opportunity for choice-making and self-expression. 


Social Skills

  • Finally, this activity can be used to practice social skills. 
  • Encourage your child to ask others (you, a sibling, a peer, whoever is in the room!), “What do you like to eat?” or “What’s your favorite food?”
  • Have fun listening to everyone share their favorites and singing the new version of the song together!


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