Music plays an important part in children’s lives. Not only does it provide the opportunity to get up and dance, but it also serves as a fun way to learn fundamentals such as the ABCs, following directions, and counting.
Take a listen to First 5 California’s new Pandora music station for kids on your phone or computer. Soon you will see all the benefits music can offer you and your child!
Listen and Learn. Singing and listening to music is a great way for toddlers to develop language and learning skills:
- Let your child listen to the same song repeatedly. Repetition helps kids learn new words and meanings.
- Rhyming songs help your child hear different sounds and develop stronger literacy skills. The song “I’m a Little Teapot” is a great example as “stout,” “spout,” “shout” and “out” all rhyme.
- Studies show music helps kids’ memory, such as the order of letters in the alphabet, because songs tap into systems in our brains that are sensitive to melody and beat.
- Sing counting songs, like “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” or “Five Little Monkeys.” The repetition makes it easier for young children to remember a number sequence.
- Music also offers a fun way to learn early math concepts, like patterns and classification. Chose songs that have a repetitive rhythm or lyrics to help your child anticipate patterns such as “Pop Goes the Weasel” and “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.”
Move That Body. Music provides a great opportunity for exercise and play:
- Practice balance and coordination with songs that are action-based such as “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”
- Develop fine motor skills and the small muscles in your child’s hands and fingers with interactive songs. “The Wheels on the Bus,” “Itsy, Bitsy Spider” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” are just a few examples.
Get Creative with Instruments. Making music doesn’t have to be expensive. Use household items for hours of fun:
- Empty pots and bowls, wooden spoons and spatulas are a few examples.
- Fill up an empty water bottle with some rice or dried beans for a shaker. A cereal box can also be given new life as a drum, using unsharpened pencils as drumsticks.