10 Fun Activities that Promote the Love of Music
Of course, most 2-year olds will not immediately fall in love with Beethoven or Miles Davis. However, there are numerous fun music activities for toddlers that can definitely set the stage for a lifetime love of music. Additionally, cultivating a love of music in young children will certainly reap rewards in other areas of development as well. Read on for my list of 10 Fun Activities that Promote the Love of Music in Young Children.
Depending on how you incorporate music activities into your child’s environment, there are a myriad of side benefits to music-themed activities (other than it just being fun!):
• Develops creativity and promotes imagination
• Helps young children learn to express themselves
• Gross motor skills development through activities that develop coordination and rhythm
• Fine motor skills development through activities that incorporate the playing of instruments
• Improves literacy and comprehension through singing songs
• Improves concentration and listening skills
• Recognizing patterns in music that will help them recognize patterns in language, math, logic, and movement
• Learning abstract concepts by providing meaningful experiences that illustrate them
• Multi-sensory learning - absorbing new information through more than one sense helps learning become permanent
• Pretend play helps develop problem solving skills
• Social interaction - music helps young children advance from parallel to cooperative play
And really, immersing yourself in music is just plain fun! Do you need ideas for how to incorporate music activities in your routine? Check out these 10 fun ideas!
1. Sing!To borrow a phrase from a popular Sesame Street song, ‘Don’t worry if it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear. Just sing, sing a song.’ Sing with your kids. Don’t worry if you can’t carry a tune. Your kids won’t care. Actually, they will likely love everything about your singing voice. Start singing to your child from birth and before you know it, they will start singing with you. Sing happy songs, silly songs, sweet songs, lullabies. Sing a song with your child’s name in it. Just sing!
2. DanceGet those wiggles out! Pop in some Raffi or Laurie Berkner. March like a dinosaur. Flap like a chicken. Fly like an airplane. Create some silly walks. Have a dance party to Mommy and Daddy’s favorite music. Be silly! Be sentimental.
3. ListenIt can be difficult to get a toddler to sit still and listen to music. That is ok. Play music in the background at dinner. Pop in a CD or playlist when you are driving (also a great time for that singing). Very quickly your child will develop favorites (our daughter loves Old MacDonald and the Manamana Song). However, expose them to your child-appropriate favorites too - 80’s pop, jazz, a little classical, maybe some Nora Jones. If you love it, your enthusiasm will rub off on them as well.
4. PlayThere are so many fantastic toy instruments available. Xylophones, tambourines, rattles, maracas, bongos, kid-sized pianos, even a piano/music app on your smart phone or tablet. The point is, let you kid bang away and experiment with different types of musical instruments. If you don’t want to spend money to buy more toys… pots, pans, cups, spoon, and other household items make great play instruments as well.
5. CreateIntroduce some structure to the music play. Tap a rhythm on a drum and have your kid repeat after you. Make up a verse to that song you both love to sing and ask your child to help you out with creating verses, make homemade instruments together and then play them!
6. Exposure to InstrumentsI guess this one is easy for me… I play the violin. However, many community and professional orchestras will have events for kids where real instruments are available for the kids to pluck, blow, bang, and strum.
7. Exposure to Live MusicThese same community and professional music groups often have young people’s concerts that are geared for kids, ages 2 to 10. Many times concerts will feature puppets, dancers, or other fun activities to keep kids engaged. You don’t have to go to an orchestra performance though. Check out live music at community fairs and festivals, marching bands, the church choir. The point is to expose your child to people performing music… trust me, they will love it!
8. Incorporate into Daily LifeYou don’t have to be Julie Andrews to have fun with music in daily life. Actually, music is a great teacher. I can’t tell you how many times I have taught my daughter by singing a little song we both learned watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (When you have to go potty, STOP!, and go right away…).
9. Build Music into Family Traditions and Special OccasionsMusic is the language of emotion and our memories are primarily interpretations of how we felt about something that happened in the past. Why not build that soundtrack together? Are you going camping? Learn some silly campfire songs. Do you celebrate holidays? Turn on that holiday music station and belt out Frosty the Snowman.
10. Talk About ItAsk your child about what you are listening to, or what you are creating. Is the music loud or soft? High or low? Fast or slow? Do you like it? How does it make you feel? Get your kids to learn the language of music and that will only help cognitive and social development in other areas as well.
What kind of music do you like? Do you already incorporate music activities into your routine? I would love to hear more ideas.
Thank you for reading, and go sing a song now!
Sara blogs about kid crafts and activities, parenting, and faith at http://www.sunshinewhispers.com. She is a Christian, working (outside the home) wife, and Mom to a wild and crazy fun little girl and an adorable geriatric black lab. She works for ‘the man’ 9 to 5 and is always searching for that elusive work-life balance. Outside of work, she loves exploring the Baltimore-DC metro area with her family, hanging with friends, and just about anything that involves making her daughter smile, laugh, or dance (she dances like a chicken… it is hilarious!).