Music always played a massive part in my childhood. Whether it was experimenting with my own songs, listening to classic albums handed down to me by my parents or being inspired by a musically creative family, I witnessed firsthand how the exposure can positively shape you, fuel development and build on essential life skills. Something I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Making music is as much as a basic life skill as walking and talking if you’re exposed to it from an early age or trained in it. Various studies have proved that music plays an essential part in every child’s development; boosting language skills and confidence, developing fine motor skills and improving one’s overall IQ. Using musical toys to fuel your baby’s creativity before they can even walk or talk can be the key to unlocking their potential intelligence and happiness. Help them get their creative juices flowing early with these fun music goodies and tips!
1. Music Making and Learning
Making music cultivates little learners so playing music with toddlers – using any tools at hand – is a great place to start. Utilising basic wooden toy instruments will give your child an introduction to the feel and form of real instruments, with chunky aesthetics and bright colours to inspire them. Whilst you certainly don’t want to force anything upon them or try and turn them into the next Slash guitarist, encouraging music play time will help with their co-ordination and provide a natural stepping stone towards a real interest in making music later in life.
Basic musical toys like light-up mini keyboards and musical mobiles are perfect for your baby to play with and learn from in the comfort of their crib. You can utilise musical pram toys too for on-the-go entertainment. By encouraging your child to express themselves through different toys, you’ll help build up their confidence and inspire a creative spirit regardless of what age they are.
2. Using Rhythm and Tempo to Engage with Your Child
When young children respond to the rhythm and tempo of music, they actually find it more engaging than talking itself. As they start to synchronise their movements with the music, you’ll notice how much they’ll smile and relate to it. Young brains are just as prewired to learn music as they are language and catchy tempos will help motivate your child to hear and create their own musical ideas.
When music is part of their routine, your little one will begin to make up songs and move rhythmically to different tempos. Most will even speak up sooner too. Creating an environment where you can play and listen to music together helps to recapture a sense of fun, essential together time and connects both of you to the benefits music. Research shows that toddlers who engage in music are more willing to explore their environment and communicate effectively than those who simply listen too. Rhythmic movements, like the ability to tab a beat, also boosts reading ability in older kids.
3. Sounds, Lights and Music
Smart sounds like singing to your baby, patting his back or rocking to music can help strengthen the music pathways in developing brains. Use interactive musical toys that offer a variety of different sounds and lights to stimulate and fuel creativity. Think bright colours, shakers, wooden musical toys or ‘dancing’ toys that move to the rhythm. Xylophones are great for teaching young children the different tones and pitches you can create and helps to stimulate their minds on a completely different level to ordinary toys as they learn to grasp the different keys.
Something as simple as a musical triangle or a drum beat can improve your child’s co-ordination and rhythm as they play along. The more they start to create notes and rhythms, the stronger the neuro-pathways become through these musical patterns, which can later add up to better math and learning skills.
4. Utilising Music Playlists
Another great way to bring music into your baby’s world is through playlists. We all know the benefits of singing a lullaby to calm and aid sleep or turning classic bedtime stories into songs, but what about designing a playlist especially for your little one? Whether it’s a playlist for the car to sing along too or something that can provide a soft background noise at night, exposing children to a suitable selection of songs introduces them to new words and rhymes.
Creating a fun music playlist (or utilising kid’s music shows on tv) can encourage your toddler to wiggle and move around the house too. Better yet, move with them! Dancing together will trigger the release of oxytocin – the bonding hormone, which is produced during nursing. Start up in the car singalongs from an early age and don’t be afraid to sing out of key to music playlists. This teaches children they don’t have to be perfect or polished to enjoy singing and dancing.
There’s lots of ways you can teach babies and toddlers to connect with music. From teaching discipline, to developing social and intellectual skills; the benefits of an environment with music is undeniable. Start adding fun ways to put music in your child’s life and watch how quickly and creatively they begin to express themselves and grow.
This is a post on behalf of Bubbalove – a leading provider of quality online children’s toys and products to help fuel your child’s imagination, creativity and music making skills.