Want to increase your little one’s learning power? Musical engagement has much more to offer than merely a playful and fun experience for young children. It can be a powerful tool to enhance cognitive and social/emotional development and a fantastic way for children to explore creativity and self-expression.
A study conducted at the University of Southern California concluded that musical experiences in childhood could expedite brain development, specifically related to reading and language acquisition. Musical training has also been found to be associated with a higher IQ and above average mathematical and language skills.
Additionally, the National Association of Music Merchants found that playing an instrument can help to enhance a child’s ability to learn higher order mathematics, leading to higher scores on standardized testing.
Beyond academic achievement, when introduced early on, music has been shown to stimulate areas of the brain to develop synchronously, and has been linked to enhance skills for school readiness, social and emotional skills, and improved literacy and language development.
The best part about music is that in addition to the incredible academic and developmental implications for your child’s bright future, children are naturally drawn to engage with music. Most children find music and musical games to be a joyful and memorable part of childhood. Here are six fun and easy activities to help expose young children to discover a crescendo of musical benefits.
1. Strike Up The Rock Band
No need to get overly-technical to engage your young one in music. Common household items can also serve as basic instruments for children.
Sit on the kitchen floor and pull out some pots, pans, spoons, and even wire whisks – whatever you have on hand – and let your little one go to town with various cooking utensils. Experiment drumming on different pots and pans and with enough practice, you can create your own kitchen rock band!
2. Freeze Dance
It’s as simple as it sounds and what is more fun than dancing? Play your child’s favorite songs and dance to your heart’s content. Then, when they least expect it, pause the music and ask your child to stand as still as a statue until the music starts again. This game is even more fun when there is a group of children.
3. Draw What You Hear
Music can be a powerful mechanism to enhance creativity and self-expression, especially when incorporated into creative art. Using a package of crayons and a canvas, instruct your child to move their crayons around with the sound of the music you play. If you are playing hard rock, have them throw some force into their drawing. If there is a pattern, hit the paper lightly to make polka dots. Once you are done, you will have an amazing illustration that was composed purely to the beat with a visual expression of what they heard.
4. Build Your Own Instrument
An instrument doesn’t need to be formal to have fun and make an impact. To make a pretend guitar, all that’s required is a cardboard box (such as a cereal box), a paper towel roll, scissors, some rubber bands, and duct tape. Insert the paper towel roll into the top of the sealed cereal box and use duct tape to fasten it. Then, cut a hole in the middle of the box.
At the top of the tube, make small cuts to form the slits for the “strings” on the top of the guitar. Once that is done, all you have to do is fasten the rubber bands from the cuts you made to the bottom of the box. It will sound like a real guitar, and your child can play along to their favorite music.
5. Do The Robot Dance
Have a dance party using very different types and styles of music. When the music changes, tell them to follow along with the beat, going either fast, slow, or an in-between pace. This activity is not only an excellent way to have fun with music it’s also a good way of help burn some of that extra energy.
6. Last But Not Least…Check Out Music Games Online
Your child can gain the benefits of musical games even if you might not have time to play along. With so many musical game websites to choose from, you will find a favorite in no time.
Music is an integral part of your child’s brain development. To enhance your child’s success far into the future, make music a regular part of your child’s playtime and education. Stratford School is dedicated to integrating musical education into our cutting-edge STEAM curriculum. Schedule a tour today to learn more about how your child can grow at Stratford School Altadena!