According to The European Journal of Social & Behavioral Sciences, “music education and exposure to music by listening or active music-making would make children smarter and would have a positive influence on children’s social-emotional skills, motor development and even improve their chance for success in society.”
The toddler years are a time of great emotional, cognitive and social development. Kids start showing their love for music at this age. They improvise, sing their favorite songs, and even break the dance moves when they hear lovely tunes.
Normally, your child’s first favorite songs are soundtracks from the cartoons or TV shows they often watch. Sometimes they like them so much that singing repeats all day long. So you’d better prepare yourself for listening and singing along. Don’t worry, the phase of singing will end soon, and you’ll remember your kid’s favorite song from this age. For now, you can focus on the music’s benefits and learn how to introduce it safely to your toddler from our post.
10 Music Benefits for Toddlers
Music is a mood lifter
Remember those days when you had a bad mood and used your favorite playlist to get an uplift? Music is a great mood lifter for your kid too. Toddlers may not tell you what they feel, but you will notice their reaction and changed faces when their favorite songs play.
Music helps exercising motor skills.
Dancing to the music helps develop your child’s gross motor skills. Gross motor skills let your kid move larger muscles like in the arms and legs. So let children dance, it’s a good exercise.
Music helps to develop coordination.
Busting a move will improve your kid’s balance and muscular coordination. Music also promotes coordination of words and actions, verbal and nonverbal skills.
Music helps you bond with your kid.
Spend an afternoon playing music, dancing around the house, and laughing at lyrics together. Small moments like these help you bond with your kid, enjoy each other’s company, and forge a tight, long-lasting relationship.
Music contributes to vocabulary development.
Children learn new words from the songs they repeat all the time. It helps to build their vocabulary. Plus, they will start understanding the meanings of the words from their favorite songs.
Music can help build routines and habits.
Habits and routines give kids a sense of stability. They like to know what is coming next. Even if bedtime is not their favorite time of the day, lullabies will help you get them to sleep. When you stay firm about the routine, eventually, kids stop jibbing and get used to it.
Music is the way to impart traditions.
Traditions give children a feeling of belonging, and music is one of the ways to impart tradition. Is there a song your parents used to sing to you? Telling your kid about it before singing will help him/her listen to that song with interest and pay close attention to it.
Music teaches empathy.
According to Psychology Today, music can provide opportunities for people to invest in one another emotionally, and songs with lyrics are especially effective at stimulating empathy. It can help your kid learn how to be a better friend.
Music teaches literacy and numeracy.
Singing nursery rhymes can help your child with figuring out sound patterns and configure those into a sequence. That’s the way music helps kids develop literacy and numeracy skills.
Music supports sensory development.
Same as exposure to a wide variety of textures, colors, and tastes, exposure to different types of music increases your kid’s sensory development. Nice tunes help create more pathways between cells in children’s brains.
Ideas for introducing music to your toddler
Music is a part of life for toddlers, as they are naturally drawn to it. Foster that love and watch it grow. Here are some ideas on how to introduce music to your child.
- Use some props. Let your kid’s favorite toys, pillows, or anything else you can think of be a part of your singing performance. It’ll be more fun with additional heroes, and your kid may want to join the “band.”
- Add some moves. Adding clapping, marching, or foot-tapping increases the level of interest for a child. Bring in some gamification to your songs, and kid around together with your toddler.
- Play instruments. If you play piano, guitar, or other instruments, use your talent and add some joy to your kid’s day. It would be great to have scaled-down instruments in the house so that children can play along.
- Dance with bells on. Buy some small bells and put them on while dancing. Your child will try to ring the bell by moving the body parts. This fun activity can help children get the beat of the music they listen to and exercise simultaneously.
- Don’t worry if you have a bad ear for music. That’s ok if you can’t sing well enough. You are perfect for your child just the way you are. Your attention and fun activities are what toddlers care about most. Don’t be afraid to be silly and give it your best vocal performance.
- Make it consistent. If you want your child to get all the benefits from music and be interested in it, make musical activities consistent in your house. A few minutes of dancing and singing a day will be great for your kid’s development.
As a parent, you can keep children motivated and interested by introducing them to music at a young age and showing them how much fun you have when playing an instrument, singing, or listening to music on the radio. Lead by example, enjoy yourself while you are involved with music, and make a habit of regularly having those little music performances to make them impactful for your child’s development.