I'm sure you've read at least a few of the research articles highlighting how beneficial music is in a child's life . Music has been shown to boost memory, enhance learning and help kids to focus on a task.
Most importantly, music is something kids enjoy!
It entices them to dance, sing along and relax -- allowing them to practice large motor skills, enhance their verbal development and enjoy the world.
My kids always ask for music! While they're doing their chores or helping around the house , they play the radio. Both have requested to play instruments way before we thought they would be ready (but given their interest and the fact that we found the right music teacher, they have really enjoyed it).
And I can't tell you the number of musical rhymes and memorization tips we've used to help them with their school work (I don't think anyone in the world can say the ABC's without singing it :)
So this week at the Discover & Explore topic is celebrating music!
We're sharing easy ways to integrate music into your child's daily activities along with some wonderful musical resources. And as a bonus, I've also included a few ideas as a throw-back to our childhood. You know, back in the days when you would walk home while playing your recorder or jump rope while singing a song (yea, I know you did it even if you thought no one was watching!)
Musical Activities for Kids
I encourage you to include music in your child's life in a non-structured way. Music lessons are fine as kids get older but definately not necessary since there are so many other informal ways we can bring music into our lives.
And be sure to make it fun! Here are a few ideas to get you started --
Check out Music at Your Local Library
There are so many great kids bands, songs and videos that can be found at your local library. Set a goal to check out one new musical items on each of your library visits.
Be sure to explore different types of music with the kids -- classical, rap, blues, folk music -- you might be surprised at what the kids enjoy!
Remember What You Loved as a Kid
One way to introduce new music to the kids is to bring back old favorites.
What did you enjoy listening to as a child? Parents are more likely to sing along if it's a song they know too.
Play games like musical chairs (remember how fun that was as a kid?!) Share some of the fun travel songs you use to sing in the car (in the days before we all had ipods). Introduce your tween or teen to classic rock. Or visit Kiddie Records Weekly for some vintage kids songs and musicals!
Image credit: Kiddie Records Weekly
Music & Technology
Kids are so into technology these days so why not tie some music to their tech time!
Common Sense Media has a wonderful list of the best music apps for kids along with great reviews for each one.
Tie Music to Learning
I'm sure you've used a mneumonic to learn something. These are short songs or jingles that help us remember things.
How do you know the number of days in the month -- "30 days hath September, April, June and November..."
Many schools use mneumonics for things such as the colors of the rainbow, historic events ("Columbus sailed the ocean blue in fourteen hundred ninety-two") and even for math formulas. Setting something to music helps us to remember so be sure to try these at home when you're helping the kids with memorization.
Favorite Musical Toys
And don't forget to include some hands-on musical items in the playroom! These are a few of our favorites -- toys that have lasted and been enjoyed for years -- I've been pleasantly surprised at the number of ways the kids have creatively used some of these items. I've included affiliate links for your convenience so you can learn more about each item.
This set has been in our house for more than 10 years! The items are really sturdy and make nice music (without being too loud) and I love that they are all made from wood (with the exception of the metal triangle). We had a few months where the kids would use the triangle to call everyone to the dinner table (I don't know what old west movie they saw to get that idea but it was fun).
If you're looking for a smaller set of instruments, try the Melissa & Doug Band in a Box .
We added this Little Tikes Tap-A-Tune Drum to the mix because I truely believe that every house needs a proper drum (especially if you want to have your kitchen items available when you need them :)
Babies, toddlers and even preschoolers will love the Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube!
We received this as a gift and were truely impressed by it's versatility. Each side of the cube represents a different instrument. When you play a song, you can add or subtract intruments from the tune. It really helps kids to understand the individual sounds of each and how they all fit together. And our kids used it from the time they were toddlers through elementary school since they both chose to play string instruments and the cube allows you to create your own orchestra combinations.
And if you're looking for some DIY instruments the kids can make, check out these 8 beautiful musical instruments that use items from around the house !
Be sure to browse through all the wonderful music ideas and projects below too!
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