I bet your kids love to sing and dance around when there is music playing. And I bet while they are singing and dancing around they are smiling from ear to ear. They are up, they are moving about and they are having fun, that in itself is exciting in this digital age. But what if I told you it has been scientifically proven that music helps kids learn?
A Busy Brain
Scientists have discovered that a baby’s brain is at it’s busiest when it is listening to music. That means all the pathways and connections in the brain are firing as they listen. In order to grow and develop, baby’s brain needs to have strong connections. So we definitely want to encourage this busy brain time!
As our children grow into toddlers, preschoolers and school children we want to continue to encourage these strong brain connections to make learning in all other areas easier. We also want to make sure we are playing music that our little ones enjoy as having fun is another strong learning tool. Children will be more likely to want to do something that is fun right? So fun + music is a really strong learning equation.
We want to make sure that we are playing appropriate music for our little one’s ears, otherwise we are not maximising the learning opportunity. Music like heavy metal, hard rock and rap are going to be harsh on baby’s ears (not to mention there are often lots of swears in the lyrics!) so most babies will not instantly embrace these kinds of music!
You want to use the old favourites like nursery rhymes and more gentle melodies. Your kids will LOVE to hear you sing, so get musical and belt out your favourites to them. Trust me, they will not be able to register you are out of tune or tone deaf, so sing like no one is listening!
If you have a look in your local area, you are bound to find a music group that you can take the kids along to. They are run by community groups, local churches and more specialised music companies. Music Groups are great fun for the kids as they get to sing and dance with their peers. They are also great for the parents too, as it’s a great chance to get out of the house and meet some other parents in your area.
If you want to do music at home then there are heaps of cool YouTube channels for kids music. Or you can check out http://www.kindyrock.co.nz for some great NZ made music specifically written for kids! Here is their Facebook page also.
KindyRock have also written a recent blog on what skills our kids are learning as they listen to music, so check that out here.
The most important thing with music is to just have fun. Play it, sing loud, dance like no one is watching and rock out to your favourites! Your kids will love to join in and there is that learning bonus too!
Gemma is a kiwi Mum of one and is the Editor for The Baby View. She also works with preschool children, loves cooking, loves sunshine, loves chocolate and loses countless hours at a time looking at cute baby pictures on Instagram!