(Topic content provided by special guest Amanda Wittman, MA, CCC-SLP)
Using music in your routines can help your babies:
- Develop Social Skills
- Singing the Hello song promotes eye contact, waving, acknowledging peers, etc.
- Learn Melody and Intonation
- All children benefit from being spoken to or sung to in a melodic, sing-song voice. This is called “motherese” and is easier for very young babies to attend to.
- Signal Transitions
- Think of the “Clean Up” song or the “This is the way we wash our hands” song. Singing the same song every time you do an action will help your child associate the song with a desired action and they better understand what’s coming next.
- Make up silly songs that work for your family (we have a silly “lotion” song for after we get out of the bath).
- Teach vocabulary
- Add rhythm and melody to new words or phrases helps children attend and better understand what you are saying.
- Again, you can make up silly songs to highlight new vocabulary and to make games or activities more fun. (An example of this is our “pop the bubbles” song).
Times or routines that you can add music to:
- Bath Time
- Changing Diapers
- Snack/Meal Times
- Getting into the Car
- Getting dressed
- Cleaning Up
Activities that you can do at home:
- Make your own instruments (make shakers by putting rice in water bottles, bang on pots and pans, etc.)
- Check out a local library’s Baby Story Time (many times these are not really about reading, they are actually great times to learn new fingerplay songs to use with your baby.
- Make a Music Box (like Ms. Nicole’s) or make a music sensory bin like this:
- Shakers with rice, bells, rattles, spoons to bang, etc.
Babies Love Singing! Here are some great songs to sing with your babies. These are ideal because they are short, repetitive and predictable and many of them have accompanying finger motions to target multi-modal learning.
- Humpty Dumpty
- Row Row Row Your Boat
- Itsy Bitsy Spider
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
- Grand Old Duke of York
- Pop Goes the Weasel
- Open, Shut Them
- Five Little Monkeys
- “Got a box on your head…”
- “Who’s behind that little face?”
- Name song
- Happy and You Know It