When it comes to your child’s development, music is one of the most valuable tools we have starting in infancy.
Making music with your child, no matter their age, naturally fosters important social and emotional skills. These include self-regulation, self-confidence, leadership skills, social skills, and socio-emotional intelligence. Music also helps to develop children’s vocabulary, math, reading, communication, large and small motor skills, in addition to fostering listening and expressive skills.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has highlighted 10 Ways Babies Learn When We Sing To Them. This includes things like bonding, play, love and transitions so that babies get to know routine.
But perhaps the best thing about using music as a tool in child development, is that it’s a lot of fun! Music strengthens family bonds and brings joy to all of us!
Beth Genovese, Education Coordinator for the Child Development Program at CLC is sharing some simple ways to enjoy music with your child at home, while building on these important developmental skills.
Ways to enjoy music at home!
- Ask your child what their favorite song is and sing with them! Follow your child’s lead even if they get the words wrong. This simple act allows your child be a leader and promotes self-confidence.
- Make music by tapping, clapping, bouncing and dancing! This helps to develop fine motor and large motor skills.
- Sing together! When singing, you use pitch, rhythm and lyrics which increases vocabulary and language, communication, affection and is soothing. It fosters listening and expressive skills while also developing imagination.
- Listen to music! When children listen to music and try to repeat rhyming words, they learn to match the sounds of the language.
- Play different genres of music! Ask open ended questions such as “How does this music make you feel?” “I hear drums, what do you hear?”
Make musical instruments together!
You can make musical instruments with your children by collecting simple household products. These include items such as cardboard boxes, toilet paper and paper towel cylinders and egg cartons. They make great bases for musical instruments to make at home.
You can also use crayons, makers, pencils, fabric scraps, ribbon, yarn, felt, string, tape and rubber bands to hold items together and decorate them. To add some extra flair, collect old magazines and cut out pictures to glue to your instruments. Making your own instruments has the added benefit of strengthening the small motor skills needed for beginner writing skills.
These basic materials can be used to make so many different kinds of musical instruments! We have some fun options, below!
Make a shaker!
- Paper Plate
- Dried Beans
- Stapler (for parents to use)
- Fold the paper plate in half.
- Add dried beans inside the fold.
- Parents, staple the paper plate closed.
Tin Can Drums!
- Clean coffee tin containers
- Elastic or rubber band
- Wrap a deflated balloon around the top of the tin can.
- Secure with an elastic or rubber band.
- Use your hands to drum away!
Toilet Paper Roll Kazoos!
- Toilet paper rolls
- Paint, crayons, stickers, markers
- Tissue paper
- Elastic or rubber band
- Decorate toilet paper rolls with paint, crayons, stickers, markers, etc.
- Add tissue paper to one end and secure with elastic band.
- Blow on the open end and see the different sounds you can make.
Another fun idea is always to get the lids to your pots and pans to use as instruments and march around the house with them!
So, on the next rainy day or weekend at home with your children, find some time to play music! It will keep everyone smiling, having fun and learning at the same time.