Music for little children can boost a budding vocabulary, signal a switch in routine, turn cleanup time into fun time, and much more.
Need another reason to pop in your tot’s favorite tunes for some booty-shaking fun? Check out the laundry list found on the internet of some of the benefits toddler music has to offer your little one and you:
- Toddler music is a natural memory booster. There’s a reason why you can remember every word of the Spice Girls songs even if you heard them in grade school. The best way to learn — and retain — concepts like colors, body parts, and letters is to sing (and sing and sing) about them. The ABC song is a classic, but “Five Little Ducks” and the “Hokey Pokey” are also easy ways to teach a tot about numbers and left and right. But you don’t have to stick to the standards. Make up your own words to “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and see how quickly your munchkin can memorize his telephone number or address.
- Music for little kids builds language skills. Not only do simple song lyrics boost your little learner’s vocabulary, but their very structure — their rhythms, words, and rhymes — can help him process sounds and repeat them back. Plus, listening to the words can bolster your tot’s listening skills and get him on the right track for learning how to read later on.
- Toddler music helps little ones learn about emotions. Your critter doesn’t need words to reap the benefits of music. Put on some classical works —“The Nutcracker” is particularly kid-friendly — and encourage your toddler to dance the way the music makes him feel. Then name his feelings — “You were jumping up and down you were so excited!” or “You were spinning with happiness.”
- Music can soothe the savage toddler. You probably learned early on how well a lullaby works to send your little sleepyhead to dreamland. But don’t just save the mellow stuff for naps and bedtime. Slow, gentle melodies can calm down a cranky tot anytime of day or signal a switch from physical play to quieter pastimes like playing with puzzles or looking at picture books.
- Toddler music reinforces rituals. The holidays wouldn’t be as memorable without that indelible sound track, and blowing out birthday candles is just wrong without the birthday song. But while music makes special days even more festive, it can jazz up an ordinary day too. Try choosing a few songs to punctuate your daily routine, such as “Splish Splash, I Was Taking a Bath” or even U2’s “Beautiful Day.”
- Music makes kids more cooperative. Can’t convince your pipsqueak to help pick up the toys after playtime? Have him face the music: Crank up the “Cleanup Song” and challenge him to a who-can-sing-it-louder contest. Music for little kids can distract toddlers from daunting tasks, so find or make up tunes for other challenging chores, like singing “This Is the Way We Wash Our Hands” to the tune of “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.”
- Toddler music can bring you together. Do you and your partner have a special song? Then no one has to tell you that sharing tunes can strengthen bonds. So pick a song that you and your toddler absolutely love, and when you hear it, drop everything and dance.