Young children love sound. Music activities and experiences help children practice important skills, including thinking, language, motor coordination and understanding emotions.

  • When children interact with music they start to learn new thinking skills. Introducing instruments to children helps them think about cause and effect. For example, if a child holds jingle bells and shakes them, the child is learning that they make the bells jingle.
  • Singing songs help children practice language. Rhyming, remembering lyrics, pronouncing words and putting sentences together all assist with literacy skills.
  • Music supports children’s motor coordination. From the earliest songs and finger plays, children are using their fine motor skills. Dancing to music encourages gross motor skills and letting children experiment with how their body can move.
  • Music can assist with routines. Playing music at specific times can assist children with moving from one activity to another. Many programs use a clean-up song, as this time is usually a transition that is more challenging and music makes it fun! Naptime is when music is used to signify a calming and soothing atmosphere. Playing a slow classical song is perfect for naptime.
  • Music should not just be used as background noise. When this happens children tend to ignore it and it isn’t as significant in their daily schedule. Music should have a purpose and not be just an “extra” in child care. Listening to music, singing songs and playing instruments provide learning opportunities and make children and child care providers feel good.

Homemade musical instruments, like the one below from Red Ted Art,  are easy and double as a fun art project with the children.

Supplies: wooden spoons (find at the dollar tree), empty formula cans or coffee cans, paint and glue

  • Step 1: Glue the lid of the cans to the can
  • Step 2: Let the children paint the cans!
  • Step 3: Let the cans dry
  • Step 4: Give the kids each a wooden spoon and let them drum!

Tags: music, language, rhyming, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, routines, transition

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