Here are five easy, practical ways that you can use music in your home to boost the brain cells in your little ones minds.
1. The beneficial effects of music begin while your baby is a fetus. The effects are even more powerful during the third trimester of your pregnancy. Pick three simple lullabies that you know and love and sing them out loud daily. Buy recordings of these lullabies and play those for your baby as often as you can. When your baby is born, continue to sing and play these three lullabies. Your baby will recognize the sound of your voice and the lullabies. These three songs will become so familiar to your child that they can be used as powerful tools to help them fall asleep, relax, feel happy, connect with you, recognize your voice, and begin connecting those important neural pathways in the mind.
2. Make music apart of your family routine. Play the same type of music every day during a specific part of your day. Dinner time, play time, and bed time are all wonderful times of the day to play music. Your child will get used to hearing the music during this specific time of the day. It will become familiar, comforting and calming to them, which will in turn do wonders on their mood and behavior. Choose music that fits appropriately with the mood you are trying to set. Nursery Rhymes are great for play time. Dinner time is a great time to play orchestral or instrumental music, and lullabies are always nice for bedtime. Introduce your children to your favorite type of music as well, as long as it does not have any inappropriate language. Remember, children’s ears are more sensitive than adult ears so never play music too loud or use adult ear phones.
3. Sing! Sing to your baby as much as you possibly can. Before you know it your toddler will start belting out the tunes. Toddlers that are exposed to music frequently will sing entire songs before they are able to talk in complete sentences. Singing promotes language development, concentration and creativity. For preschool and elementary age children, add movements, dance, and acting. Put on a pretend play for your family. This will build creativity and boost self-confidence. Singing simple songs like the ABC’s is a great way to teach words, concepts and new languages.