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Jamming, toddler-style

They love to bang and move and sing. And experts say music and dance help develop listening skills, hand and body coordination, and creative expression. These tips can help them get the music started.
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It's not necessary for them to follow the words to a song. It makes them happy just to hear the comfort in your voice or on the recording or to dance to a peppy tune. Introduce music to your child early. Music and dance help children learn to listen, to coordinate hand and body movements and to express themselves creatively.

What you need

Noisemakers (rattles, a can filled with beans or buttons, empty toilet paper rolls, pots, pans, plastic bowls)

What to do
Have your toddler try banging a wooden spoon on pots, pans or plastic bowls; shaking a large rattle or shaking a securely closed plastic container filled with beans, buttons or other noisy items; and blowing through toilet paper or paper towel rolls.

Sing or play recordings of nursery rhymes. Have your toddler participate actively. Even if he can't recite the words, he can imitate your hand movements, clap or hum along.

As your child becomes more physically coordinated, encourage her to move to the music. She can twirl, spin, jump up and down, tiptoe or sway. Find recordings of all kinds of music for your child to listen to. Help her learn to clap out rhythms, to move to both slow and fast music and to listen carefully for special sounds in the music.

Here are a few tips to get your child to sing:

  • Sing yourself. Sing fairly slowly so that your child can join in. Discourage shouting.
  • Start with simple chanting. Pick a simple melody, such as "Mary Had a Little Lamb," and sing, "la, la, la." Add the words later.

Make singing a natural part of your daily routine — let your child hear you sing as you work around the house or sing along with songs on the radio or TV or with your own CDs or recordings. Encourage him to join in.

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  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 2reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by Our little one will bust out a move to the song at the beginning of TV shows. We always clap and cheer when she does to encourage her to continue. She has loved music and instruments as long as I can remember.As a plus, when we have Daddy-and-daughter days, daddy plays guitar all around the house and she 'll dance and try playing. March 31, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I really like the idea of recycling your own household odds and ends to make noisemakers! One of the ways that I've found to add music into our day for baby is to make it part of his bedtime routine. After a story and while he's in his crib, I sing one or two simple songs to him. It adds songs to our day and helps him relax as he goes to bed. May 31, 2012
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