Music isn't just soothing—it has developmental benefits!
Right from the time a child is born, we use music intuitively to calm them, play with them, and express love. But that's not all music can offer!
Did you know that listening to music and making it has many developmental benefits, particularly for young children?
From honing sensory and cognitive skills to enhancing social and emotional intelligence, proper exposure to music can go a long way for a growing child. Understanding how it helps your child at different stages will help you build on your instincts and provide age-appropriate musical experiences for your child.
So in this blog, we will talk about the benefits of music for children, how they can enjoy it in their first few years, and different musical toys that babies, toddlers, and preschoolers will love!
Benefits of music for children
1. Helps with sensory development: Listening to music from an early age will help build neural pathways in your child’s brain. This will fine tune how they receive information, allowing them to engage with the world in sharper ways.
Do you know why sensory play is crucial for a growing child? Read this blog to find out more about sensory play and what activities can hone your child's developing senses!
2. Strengthens motor skills: Instruments are a fantastic way to improve fine and gross motor skills! Playing a musical instrument or enjoying a musical toy will strengthen your child’s arm strength, grip, precision, and hand-eye coordination.
3. Hones cognitive development: Melodies are one of the first pieces of information that a child’s brain processes. Constant exposure to quality music will go a long way in helping your child build spatial reasoning and logical thinking. It will also boost their memory and help them solidify their learning skills.
4. Builds vocabulary: We all know that nursery rhymes and children’s songs are great ways to improve a child’s vocabulary. But a study conducted by the University of California discovered that children who learn to play music are also quicker to develop their vocabulary, along with several other cognitive skills.
5. Enhances social skills: Appreciating and playing music will hone your child’s ability to listen better and focus for longer periods of time. These are necessary skills to build strong social and personal relationships. Learning to make music could also boost their self-esteem and become easy ways to make friends as they grow older.
6. Nurtures emotional well being: From lullabies for babies to calming instrumentals for adults, music can soothe and relax the mind at all ages. It can also help your child feel their emotions, understand it better, and lift their mood when they are down.
If your child is learning to feel their big feelings, this DIY Puppet Game is perfect for them! All you need are paper plates and stationary.
7. Provides a creative outlet: Music is all about self-expression and originality! Whether or not it becomes a big part of your child’s life, learning to carry a tune and keep a beat will give them a chance to explore their creative side.
Enjoying music across different ages
A child’s ability to interact with music will vary according to their age and where they are at in their developmental journey. Let’s look at some ways that infants, toddlers, and preschoolers can engage with and enjoy music!
Babies: Studies have shown that even in the womb, a good melody helps in a child’s development. For newborns, a soft and soothing tune will calm them and help them sleep. Hum or sing such songs while rocking your child, playing with them, or when they are restless. Make sure you avoid loud music around babies as this can be overstimulating for them.
Looking for soothing toys for your baby? We recommend our Montessori Gobbi Mobile! This crib toy has pastel crochet balls that will grab your baby's attention, keep them entertained, and calm them.
Toddlers: Toddlers love songs with a lot of repetition and good beats. This will help them memorize words, sway, and dance to the music! You could even tap a table or clap your hands to a tune and your toddler will happily follow suit. Musical toys are perfect for children around this age.
Preschoolers and older children: At this age, kids sing without any self-consciousness! If you have a preschooler, you probably often hear them making up songs and singing it in the tune of their favourite nursery rhymes! They love rhyme, rhythm, and songs that educate them about something.
Kids who have just started school will enjoy counting or spelling in songs. Around 4 or 5 years, you can even introduce them to musical instruments and see if they would like to learn any.
Musical toys for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers
1. Soothing Organic Rattles
Rattles are among the first toys we get for babies, and for good reason. For the first few months, a baby cannot move much, speak anything coherent, or even see in colours. But they can listen to sounds! A rattle is not just a great musical toy to calm a baby, but will also be something they can play with for years to come. At shumee, we have a wide range of organic rattles to choose from, including crochet rattles, teethers, shakers, and rattle rings.
2. Jungle Joy Instrument Set
Start a band with the help of this musical monkey, giraffe, and crocodile! This set of jungle-themed instrument toys is the perfect way to introduce your child to the world of music. It contains a wooden clapper, rattle, and guiro – all instruments that are easy for a toddler to use. To make music, they simply have to clang, shake, and scrap! You can enjoy family music night or your child can even start their own little band. The songs they make up can now have music and they can even have a dance party at home!
3. Wooden Lion Tambourine
Making music has never been easier than with this gorgeous jungle-inspired tambourine. This bright pink instrument with an adorable painting of a lion will be an instant hit with any little one! Your child can hold the tambourine by its handle and shake it to make some lovely music. Encourage them to keep time and play it along to their favourite tunes. It is lightweight and easy to carry around, allowing your child to take the joy of music wherever they go!
4. Wooden Jungle Drum
Nothing says little rockstar like a funky drum! Unlike a professional set of drums, this toy is easy to carry around and play on. Yet it makes wonderful music and is just the right way to get a party started! Tap the drum in different spots to enjoy making music. Since it is made of natural materials, this drum will create rich and deep sounds, enriching your child’s sensory experience.
5. Musical Trucks
What if your child could have a xylophone, toy truck, and shape sorter in one fun toy? That’s what our range of musical trucks offer! Our Pullalong Animal Musical Truck and Peppa and Friends Musical Truck come with a rainbow coloured xylophone, mallets, and themed shape sorting blocks that is just right for any toddler. Your child can pull these trucks along and enjoy the tinkering sounds or appreciate different notes as they play on the xylophone. This multi-skill development toy surely packs a punch!
Remember that learning or making music does not have to be an intense, intimidating experience. Surround your child with good tunes, help them appreciate songs, and as they grow, encourage them in exploring whatever form of music they feel naturally inclined towards!