Singing and music play an important role in our culture. You’ll find music present in many aspects of our lives: theater, television, movies, worship, holidays, celebrations, and government and military ceremonies. But none is as important as how we use music with our children.
From birth, parents instinctively use music to calm and soothe children, to express their love and joy, and to engage and interact. Parents can build on these natural instincts by learning how music can impact child development, improve social skills, and benefit kids of all ages.
The Benefits of Music
Music ignites all areas of child development: intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and the mind work together. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression. For children and adults, music helps strengthen memory skills.
In addition to the other benefits of music, it also provides us with joy. Just think about listening to a good song on the car radio with the window down on a beautiful day. That’s joy. For me, I just love Christmas music. I listen to is year round and it makes me happy.
Infants and Music. Infants recognize the melody of a song long before they understand the words. They often try to mimic sounds and start moving to the music as soon as they are physically able. Quiet, background music can be soothing for infants, especially at sleep time. Loud background music may overstimulate an infant by raising the noise level of the room. Sing simple, short songs to infants in a high, soft voice. Try making up one or two lines about bathing, dressing, or eating to sing to them while you do these activities. Find musical learning activities for infants.
To read more go to: http://www.peps.org/ParentResources/by-topic/development/physical/language-dev/benefits-of-music-in-child-development
Reading to you child even as an infant has benefits.
Reading to infants contributes to the development of their growing brains and gives them a good start towards a lifelong love of reading and good literature. When you read to babies, it can also help speech development as they are taking in information and beginning to learn about speech patterns. In addition, synapses connect between your infant’s neurons as you read aloud, positively affecting child development in many areas.
Infants tune in to the rhythm and cadence of our voices, especially the familiar voices of their parents and caregivers. While initially the rhythmic phrase, “Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?”, for example, may not hold meaning, your baby is taking in the sounds of language and how they fit together. As babies see a picture of a red bird in the book and you name the bird, they begin to make the connection between what you say and the picture of the red bird. The more you read that book, the stronger the connection. The repetitive storyline makes the book fun, engaging, and easier to remember. Reading to babies is not only a way to inspire a love of books from infancy, but also an important way to grow a baby’s vocabulary – first his understanding vocabulary and later her speaking vocabulary.
Best Way to Read to Your Baby
Of course reading aloud to an infant is different than reading aloud to a preschooler. With a baby, you may not get through the whole book. Your baby may want to hold the book and chew on it or try turning pages. All of these actions are appropriate and help your child become familiar with books and how to handle them.
- Make reading together a close cuddly time. Reading before bed may be the perfect time to hold your baby on your lap and cuddle together while you read.
- Don’t worry about reading a book start to finish. It is great if you can, but if your child wants to stop and hold or chew on the book, that is okay. That is another way infants take in information about their world.
- Point out and name pictures. Later ask your baby to find the “cow”, “horse”, etc., when you point to it.
- Increase the length and complexity of books as your child shows interest. By about one year of age, some babies will enjoy hearing a short book with a storyline.
– See more at: http://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/e-family-news/2014-the-importance-of-reading-to-babies-and-infants/#sthash.1aAGBsas.dpuf
Some of the top books are at the following websites: