I don’t know about you, but I love to sing. Turns out most children do too. And the good news is, you don’t even have to able to sing in tune to inspire a love of music and share the benefits.
I have taken my grandson to a ‘Music Together’ class once a week since he was about 6 months old. (https://bit.ly/2JJtp0E) (Maybe there’s one near you)
He walks in the room, raises up on his toes, flings his arms over his head and beams from ear to ear as if to say, “Let the fun begin”.
They have drums, rattles, tambourines, and bells. They dance. They mimic the leader and ignore her too. They clap, tap, throw scarves, share a gigantic parachute, and more.
A sense of community exists during shared singing.
What other benefits are there? Turns out it:
engages children in cooperative activity
improves social and emotional skills
engages both hemispheres of the brain
increases verbal intelligence
elevates their mood
It’s also a powerful bonding tool.
It’s fun to play games with music. If you leave out words to a song they know, they learn to resist doing something they feel impelled to do. Sort of like ‘Red Light, Green Light’ or ‘Simon Says’ stop. (Self-Regulation)
Try to incorporate songs that encourage participation. For example, a song where they get to call out the name of an animal, or a toy, or their favorite playground piece of equipment as one of the verses. This gives them a chance to be a leader. (Leadership Skills)
Keep in mind all songs do not have to be ‘sing-songy’. They can have unusual beats and atypical notes. Vary your selections so some are upbeat or soothing, others slow or fast. There is no limit.
P.S You don’t have to find a class to find the joy of singing with your child.
One last thing: Toddlers respond well if you sing about things you are doing or going to do or want them to do.