Music is a wonderful way to connect with your children, whether they are still babies or a little older. Your baby has been introduced to the world of sound and rhythm in your womb, and by the time he or she is born they will have learned to recognise your voice!
There is plenty of research that supports the idea that children develop musical ability up until the age of around 9-11. After this point, it seems that the window for developing certain abilities has passed, so it’s important that parents allow children to explore music from an early age.
Here are ten ideas for fun ways you can introduce your child to music, rhythm, and sound while they’re still little.
Make musical instruments with your children
You can start to teach things such as rhythm and musical concepts to your children using everyday objects, and even turn it into a fun craft project together.
For example, an empty tissue box with rubber bands of various sizes stretched over it makes a great DIY guitar, or an empty container filled with rice or beans can be a shaker. Use your imagination and you can probably come up with all sorts of great homemade instruments.
Sing to them
You may not be the best singer in the world, but singing with your children is a great way to introduce them to music and can be done from the moment they’re in your arms!
Singing is a great way to soothe your baby to sleep, and rocking them, either in your arms or in a cot, will also help to soothe them and introduce them to rhythm.
Of course you can continue singing to them, singing around the home, and even singing together for as long as they’re around, and this will always be lots of fun.
Teach them to whistle
Children find the ability to whistle fascinating, so teaching them to make musical sounds this way is a great activity to help them become more involved in music. Once you’ve taught them the basic positioning of the lips and practiced with them a little, they’ll be whistling tunes they know in no time! for more advice on teaching your little one.
Play musical games
From songs that have movements you can do together as you sing along, to games such as musical chairs and clapping games, you should aim to play musical games with your children.
Play music in the background
Whether it’s in the car on a family road trip, or just in the kitchen while you’re cooking, having music playing as a soundtrack to your life is a great way to help your children associate happy memories with music.
Even years down the line, memories of even simple tasks you’ve done together can be recalled when they hear a certain song, and this will definitely help to cultivate their love for music.
Let them play with instruments
Consider having a music box in your home, filled with instruments that your child can enjoy. It doesn’t have to be filled with the most expensive instruments, even things such as egg shakers and recorders make a great start.
If you know you’re going to want some peace from your little ones practicing, you could make sure this box can be put away and brought out as you choose.
And, of course, once your children get a little older and start to show an interest in a particular instrument, paying for musical lessons is something they may really love.
Give them musical colouring in
You can get your children used to what instruments and music notes look like by giving them colouring in activities that revolve around music. Taking the time to colour in things such as guitars and trumpets will give them a chance to really pay attention to what they look like.
Get them used to musical terms
You could also consider giving them things such as word searches with musical terms, depending on their age.
Soundtrack nap time
Rather than having the television on in the background while you’re relaxing or napping together, why not play music instead?
Relaxing music will really help your little ones to drift off, and will also help to associate music with feeling calm and safe.
Children’s TV programs
There are some children’s TV programs that are rather educational, many of which will feature songs that your little one can become familiar with, and it’s worth spending some time finding a few that you like so that you have something ready to put on when you need to.
We hope this has helped to inspire you when it comes to activities you and your child can do together to help introduce them to the world of music.