As an adult, music is something that can soothe your soul, express emotions we ourselves couldn’t verbalize, and there is no greater satisfaction than when the perfect song to match your current mood comes on. It moves us, binds us, allows for endless creativity, and knows no language boundaries. With all of these wonderful benefits we reap, we have to remember that they apply to newborns, infants, toddlers, and children as well.
First, why its so important to incorporate music into the daily routines of your children:
- It helps bond you and your child. Whether its dancing in the kitchen to your favorite classics or the lullaby you sing (despite the quality of the performance) each night at bedtime, its a connection that benefits you both
- Music is sometimes part of the therapy for premature babies as research links it to weight gain
- Upbeat tunes can chase away the blues and soft music can help soothe an upset baby to sleep
- Music is linked to having a crucial role in the “wiring” your baby’s brain for learning
- It promotes critical listening, creativity, and coordination
- Music exposes children to early language and literacy skills
- Your child learns about beat, rhythm, and tone
- Music can become a form of expression for children before they are able to talk
- Music is the most natural way for children to explore their environment. You have probably seen this as your little one makes up rhymes in the bath, hums as they play with trucks, or dances as you sing in the kitchen
- It can raise your child’s self-esteem and confidence
- It can have several added benefits in terms of independence (among other things) for children with disabilities or autism
- The jury is still out on studies linking music to making children smarter, but research does show that it links profoundly to brain development
Convinced? I hope so!
Don’t save music solely for lullabies at bed time. It can be incorporated in fun ways all day long!
One way I want to talk about is how to include music into your daily happenings and routines. If we know anything about kids, its that they thrive off consistency, routine, and knowing what to expect next. Our routines help our babies learn self-control, guide positive behavior, develop social skills, foster independence, and reduce power struggles. Just to name a few! Why not incorporate music into these routines we do daily? Make these events such as nap time, bath time, clean up, snack time, and brushing our teeth fun by using a song to accompany them – make it something they look forward to!
I simply made two playlists on my iPhone – one full of all sorts of fun songs we sing and dance to as we play throughout the day, and one that has songs to go along with some of the daily activities we do (as well as songs about letters, shapes, months of the year, etc). I also made CD’s of them so I can easily play them in her playroom if I need my phone elsewhere.
ITunes has a huge selection of songs to choose from, and most are reasonably priced. I got 150 children’s songs by the Kiboomers for $7.99! (Mind you, not all of them made the playlist, but most are good – especially for that price!). The Wonder Kids also had a great CD to download of learning songs. Browse around, and find what works for you!
Incorporate music (no, it doesn’t need to be only children’s music – add yours too!), incorporate often, and have fun learning, bonding, and busting a move together!
Next up: different ways to make music together.