Enjoying Music with your Infant, Toddler, or Preschooler
Music is good in every way for your child’s emotional, social, and intellectual development. Whether you are singing together, listening to your favorite recordings, creating sound makers, or looking at books, music can contribute so much to your child’s growth and well-being. Here are some ideas to try with your infant, toddler, or preschooler that encourage you to Comfort, Play, and Teach!
- Music can soothe a child or bring a smile. Don’t hesitate to add familiar songs and nursery rhymes to daily routines like diapering, feeding or sleep time. They are calming and make these experiences more loving and interactive.
- Singing lullabies to your child or doing fingerplays like Five Little Monkeys are wonderful ways to touch your child, both emotionally and physically. Making music together invites cuddling and creates bonds of affection.
- Why not play your favorite music and dance with your child? You can salsa or waltz, limbo or line dance… add some scarves and pretend to be belly dancers! Moving to music encourages physical co-ordination and imagination as you respond to its rhythms and make up steps together.
- You and your child can create instruments from household things. Pie plates are super cymbals.
A plastic bottle with water or rice in it makes a fine shaker. An ice cream container and 2 wooden spoons can beat out lively tunes! The sweetest sounds can come from instruments we make ourselves.
- Keep an ear out for concerts in your community. Often there are free events where young children can hear different musical styles and see what is involved in performing. Concerts can open up a world of music to them and even spark interest in becoming musicians, conductors, singers, composers, reviewers.
- Look at books together and talk about instruments, what they are made of, where they come from, and what they sound like. This will expand your child’s vocabulary and broaden their understanding of what music is to different people.
- The simplest songs and rhymes can teach musical concepts such as beat, tempo, and rhythm. Babies and toddlers can experience these things physically when parents do knee bounces like To Market, To Market. Older children are more capable of keeping the beat with instruments like shakers as they recite the rhyme.