Music is sensory for children. By listening to music, preschoolers enhance their auditory skills. Dancing to the beat allows them an opportunity to move their muscles and engage in large motor movements. Singing is good for language creation and literacy. Knowing this, why would families NOT share music with their little ones?
In order to create a love for music, introduce different types and sounds to your children. A good way to start is to have a “music week.” Each day, focus on a different sound or genre. One day you could play all jazz music, the next day play sounds from around the world. Focus on the blues another day and classical on another. Incorporate your favorite songs into a day of music in your household. At the end of the week, ask your child which sounds or songs he liked and why.
To further engage your children in music, try some of these activities:
- Practice clapping along to the beat when listening to music. Have your child locate things in the house that make noise — a toy, the clock, a buzzer or your pets. Listen to the noises and see if any objects produce a steady beat. Consider clapping along quietly to the tick-tock of a clock or make loud noises to mimic your stove’s buzzer.
- To make music visual, dance with scarves, streamers or bean bags. Raise your scarves or other items high when there is a high pitch. Put the items low when there is a low beat.
- Sing your child’s favorite songs over and over. Repetitious singing will help develop word sounds and build vocabulary. We like the “Hot Potatoes: The Best of the Wiggles.”
- Make your own bell instrument. Simply string bells on a pipe cleaner and rattle the instrument to make noise. Try adding noise to a song you sing or a song on CD.
- Create a drum out of an ice cream bucket, oatmeal container, coffee can, plastic bowl or pot. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to tap out a beat. Try making soft sounds and loud sounds. Which do you like the best? Can you make a new beat — like tap, tap, bang, tap, tap?
- Decorate your drum with paints, paper or drawings. Make it personal.
- Play musical chairs. Start by putting a chair in the middle for each person, such as five chairs for five people. Play music and have family members walk around the chairs in a circle. When the music stops, everyone sits down in a chair. Then, remove one chair so there are four chairs for five people. Again play the music. When the music stops, one person will not have a chair. This person is out. Remove one chair after each round until there is only one chair left.
- Make your own shaker out of a baby food jar, medicine bottle or small jelly jar. Add in dry rice or corn. Shake this instrument to the beat when you sing or listen to music.
Share music with your children as often as possible to help develop their senses. Music helps children develop language skills, gives them a creative outlet and encourages play in a new way. Enjoy your week making music together!
© Let’s Talk Kids, LLC 2012