Ideas for Introducing Music to Toddlers / Preschoolers
Ideas for Introducing Music to Toddlers/Preschoolers
Children naturally love music and are drawn to it. But there are things you can do to foster that love and watch it grow. Let’s look at some tips that might help you spur on your child’s love for music.
- Incorporate movement: Listening to songs is great, but adding some clapping, foot tapping or marching increases the level of fun and interest for a child. Remember playing Ring Around the Rosie when you were a kid? The best part about that song was the part where you got to fall down.
- Bring in some props: Children at this age have a rich imagination. You should let it roam wild by bringing in some props when you’re singing a song. You can add stuffed animals, pillows, or anything else you think of (source).
- Bring in the instruments: Babies enjoy their scaled-down versions of instruments like rattles and little pianos with three or four keys. Toddlers are ready for more. Give them a makeshift drum or a kazoo as a gift to blow into.
- Be patient: Kids of this age are going to want to hear their favorite songs repeatedly, so let them. The repetition is good because it assists with the learning process you’re going through.
- Don’t expect too much: If you know all about how music can make your child smarter, it can be tempting to jump right in, but don’t pressure them to take on too much too soon. Formal instrument lessons and expecting them to pick right up on the basics is unrealistic. Remember your job as their parent is to encourage, not pressure.
- Don’t worry about your voice: If you’re singing to your child, you don’t have to be Ariana Grande. Your child won’t be judging the quality of your voice. You’re already perfect to them just the way you are — so go ahead and give it your best vocal performance whether it’s silly or spectacular.
- Put on some bells while you dance: Your child will love trying to ring their bell simply by moving a body part (source). This is a fun activity to help them get the beat of the music they’re listening to.
- Make it consistent: If you want your child to be interested in music and get the benefits from it, you can’t just do it occasionally and then let it rest. You should be incorporating a few minutes of it every day, whether it’s singing them a lullaby before bed or doing a quick mid-afternoon song and dance.
- Hum some too: While singing is fun, sometimes it’s good for your child to concentrate on the melody rather than the words. You can do this with any song you’d ordinarily sing just by removing the words.
- Don’t micromanage: Your child isn’t ready to become a professional musician so try to resist your inner urge to be a critic. Don’t try to show them techniques for playing instruments and don’t criticize the way they sing their song. Just let them have fun and be as silly as they want to be.
- Get your caregivers in on the act: If you spend long work days away from your kids but you want them to have the joys and benefits of music, give them the tools so they can engage with it at their caregiver’s house. You can bring a small instrument for them to play or ask the caregiver to sing to them occasionally.
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