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Importance of Music and Movement in Early Childhood Development: Moms can be the first to introduce babies to the world of music! Music makes anything you and your baby do together more fun!
Not only that, music exposure benefits a baby’s intellectual development! It’s just another way you can raise a smarter baby.
Music capabilities can be acquired through simple exposure to music! You can be nurturing a future musician just by giving baby opportunities to enjoy and experience music. Wow!
As your child gets older, explore different music education options in and out of the home. You might be surprised how much you can offer at home.
Importance of Music and Movement in Early Childhood Development
My Music Loving Twins
My 19-month old twins respond to music so differently. Stephen moves his body to the beat, often twirling and wiggling his shoulders (which we all think is simply adorable) and can’t hold still when we have music playing.
Joseph, on the other hand, loves to try to sing along.
I’ll sing throughout the house and he’ll try to join in with a single note! We smile at each other as we share the song (albeit in different keys!)
Fun Tips for Exposing Baby Early to Music
Go on and try them! Nobody’s looking!
Baby loves to watch your expressions and your hands dance about! Sometimes I’ll sing these songs while I am doing infant massage with my baby.
For example, I’ll sing “Pat-A-Cake” when I roll his leg or arm between my hands.
Incorporate Songs While Reading
Look for board books that encourage you to sing your way through the book! Wheels on the Bus by Raffi is one of our favorites.
Use Special Songs to Indicate Baby’s Routine
A special song at a certain time of the day can help establish the baby’s routine and trigger the appropriate response.
For example, I sing “Jesus Loves Me” every night when I had put my babies to bed. I sometimes have sung a special song when nursing or play a lullaby CD as I am putting baby to bed.
These songs are a soothing reminder to the baby of the time of day and its corresponding activity.
Near 9 months of age, I begin to teach my babies how to clean up their toys. I model, for instance, putting the blocks away right next to them. I’ll put one in their hand and encourage them to try and put it in the container.
As I’m cleaning up with him, I’ll sing “Let’s put the blocks away (or whatever we are cleaning up). Let’s put the blocks away. Hi-Ho the Dairy-O. We had such fun today.” (Obviously to the tune of Hi-Ho the Dairy-O).
The clean-up song makes it fun to put toys away! I can even start singing it before to alert baby his playtime is done and clean-up is about to begin.
It sure beats constant nagging or just doing it myself! The time you take to train them to clean up while they’re young pays off!
Make a Variety of Musical Instruments Available at Home
Making a variety of creative materials available to our children gives them limitless opportunities to play, explore and create.
So, I’ll simply pop in a CD and make our basket of instruments available to our little “musicians”.
Each of my children will choose different musical instruments from bells, to shakers, to drums and play along! What fun! So much is gained during this free time of exploration!
This Melissa & Doug Band In a Box is a great starter set for a diverse collection of instruments!
Go global! Collect a variety of instruments like gourd shakers from your farmer’s market or other African instruments from your local museum store.
Sing Worship Songs
The Bible says, “The Lord is enthroned on the praises of His people”(Psalm 22:3). To usher in His presence with praise!
You and baby can enjoy worshipping the Lord Jesus together.
For example, I’ll sing worship songs over them while they are falling asleep or when they are sick and in need of God’s tender comfort.
These gentle selections will soothe you and your baby in the peace of His presence. Sing along or enjoy the instrumental!
- Bedtime Prayers: Lullabies & Peaceful Worship(Twila Paris)
This was a present at my firstborn son’s baby shower. We’d play it in his room while he slept. It would even minister to me while I nursed him to sleep.
When we’d travel, we’d bring it with us to cue him that it was bedtime. In fact, we played it for many of our children. I know the words to all the songs! It’s a soothing favorite!
Well-known worship songs are sung by some of my favorite contemporary Christian artists!
These familiar worship songs are purely instrumental primarily featuring the piano. Without vocals, they can serve as a soothing backdrop to any part of the day. A great CD for soaking as a family!
Fill Your “Mommy Tank” By Soaking in His Presence With Baby
When my twins were newborns, I was so exhausted. I’d put on a worship CD and just sit on the couch with all 5 of my children around me.
In those few minutes of downtime, Jesus filled my cup! I’d feel His peace and strength-giving me what I needed to get through those bleary-eyed days. I think those moments were key to making it through my twin’s first year!
Make Up Your Own Silly Songs
I was raised by a mother who loved to sing and would sing her love for my brother and I with silly phrases.
I find I do the same over my own kids! The Bible says, “God delights over us with singing!” (Zephaniah 3:17)
Joyful, silly songs can be a wonderful expression of God’s love and ours! Make-up lyrics to a well-known tune or sing a song and simply add your child’s name to it.
Don’t worry about rhyming or how it sounds. Baby will just love hearing his name and how you love him!
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