Help Your Little One To Love Music

Does your toddler shimmy and shake when he hears a beat? It’s easy to encourage a love of music in a young kid. Here are tips from children’s musician and early educator Marnie Grey and MetroKids readers.

Sing, add actions and play games.

Sing to your kids, right from birth. As they grow, combine music and movement to help develop motor skills. When children listen for cues, then carry out actions, it also benefits their cognitive development. Dancing as a family activity makes music special.

Kids can learn about rhythm, pitch and volume through games. Dance with scarves. Raise the scarves when the music is high and lower them when it is low. Or play “musical statues” and freeze when the music stops.

“My son is 3½. His favorite singer is Teddy Pendergrass…. I get him toy microphones and he sings the songs,” says Dewi Wilson of Philadelphia.

Make instruments available.

Simple instruments encourage kids to join in with the music. Fill a clear plastic bottle with beads or anything that makes a noise when you shake it. Plastic containers, pots and wooden spoons make excellent drums.

“When I babysit my granddaughter, we make drums from empty coffee cans and horns from paper towels rolls. Wooden spoons are great to clang together,” says Ridley Park, PA mom Geri Albano.

“We have different instruments such as drums, guitars and tambourines that the kids love to play with,” says Brunella Benales of Philadelphia.

Join a music class.

Joining a class helps young children develop socially and emotionally. Their listening skills and vocabulary also benefit. “We did Makin’ Music with both kids, and they loved it! Sunday School and preschool also helped introduce them to music at a young age,” says area mom Jennifer Engerer Troutman .

Enjoy different types of music.

Listen to a variety of music, from opera to country. You might find out that your child has different musical tastes than yours. For added fun, attend a live performance.

“I play music in my home and in the car almost all the time, classical, rock and kids’ music. I take my kids to the Philadelphia Orchestra program when our budget allows it. Otherwise I take advantage of free music concerts locally,” says Barb Hoyer of Swarthmore, PA.

“I make CDs for the car with children’s music, and every third or fourth song I throw in an artist like Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, etc.,” says Newark, DE mom Sharon Fullerton.

Lola Augustine Brown is a mom and freelance writer.

Categories: Classes, Toddlers