Songs and Games That Will Encourage Children's Musical Communication and Development

Teach children from an early age to ensure proper development.

Songs and games will help your child develop communication and listening skills at an early age. Aim to teach these skills to very young children when possible. Providing an intellectually stimulating environment will make it possible for children to develop increased communication skills and speed along their mental and physical development. Using music and games provide an enjoyable method of teaching young children abstract skills.

Choosing Songs and Games

There are four basic types of musical activities you can use to teach your child: familiar, new, cross-cultural and action-based. Familiar activities involve at least one element that the child already has experience with, such as nursery rhymes. New activities will be completely foreign to the child and require him to learn from scratch and pay careful attention to the task. Cross-cultural activities will introduce the child to the music of other cultures. Action-based activities will require that the child performs musically and associate it with a physical act, such as hand-clapping.

1 Years Old

For children under 1 year of age, it is enough to give them toys that will keep them stimulated and encourage them to explore. Children do not have to use the musical toys in any specific manner. Rhythms, melodies and logical sequences are beyond your child at this point. He should be encouraged with safe toys that he will not choke on. Toy possibilities for this age include rattles and anything that can be touched to make a sound. Items that play musical sounds when they roll or when a button is pressed make excellent options.

2 to 3 Years Old

Start reciting nursery rhymes when your child nears her second birthday. This will help her to begin to associate rhythmic patterns. Hold her hands while sitting behind her and clap the rhythm as you recite the rhyme. Even though she does not yet have the coordination to participate in the game, she will begin to understand and associate the movements with the rhythm of the rhymes. Choose rhymes that are simple, rhythmical and adhere well to hand and finger movements such as "Patty Cake" or "This Little Piggy."

3 to 5 Years Old

Start teaching children songs when they reach 3 years of age. This is the time in which your child's cognitive abilities are at a level that he can start memorizing and repeating songs. Teach him corresponding hand motions, and make sure to keep him physically as well as mentally active. Once he learns a song, turn it into a game by having him sing one phrase at a time and then pass a ball to you to sing the next phrase. This will take some guidance, but if you can teach him to sing phrases, you will greatly improve his ability to perceive music.


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