Music plays a very important role in the development of the whole child. Inside the womb, tones, vibrations, mood can be recognized by the unborn. Active involvement in music making as a young child develops social skills and emotional well-being. For any person, and especially the young child, music making activates more areas of the brain than any other activity which leads to healthy development in all areas of life.
Babies love songs, rhythms, and music and greatly benefit from a musical environment. Scientists have found that the effect music has on the young minds of babies is far more significant than one would imagine. Recent studies have shown that music affects the physical, intellectual and emotional development of babies and children and strengthens cognitive and sensory development.
The positive effect music has on the development of babies and children is diverse, in both the mental and physical spheres. Playing music to your baby can activate the neural pathways responsible for many skills, boosting general skills such as creativity, memory, spatial intelligence, mathematics, and language.
Here are six music activities to do with your young child:
- Sing songs that rhyme with your baby/toddler throughout your daily routine.
- Listen to all different genres of recorded music with your child. It’s calming and builds creativity.
- Music is calming and comforting at bedtime. Settle your little one into their bedtime routine with some lullabies or other soothing music.
- Starting around nine months, find a shared music group at a local library or school and have fun!
- Choose songs that teach your toddler about body parts and improve coordination, such as “Hokey Pokey” or “Head, Shoulders, Knees ad Toes.”
- Play with instruments – everything from maracas and tambourines to showcase and effect. (shaking to make noise)