Fun and games: Playing instruments

Photos of toddlers banging on pots and pans are an essential staple in any baby book. While the kitchen drum solos often start as an activity to keep an active baby busy while his parents prepare a meal, this early introduction to music has many developmental benefits.

Singing and playing music together with Baby is a perfect way to teach him about cause and effect. Without you having to explain a word, before long, Baby will learn that shaking the maraca at a fast pace will produce a different sound than moving it more slowly. As you play, you can ask Baby if he wants to make loud music or soft music, or other questions that can help him make the connection between these concepts he is learning and the words attached to them. Listening to his choices about the music you’re making with him and playing along will help build his confidence and self-esteem, too.

Instruments are also great for practicing motor skills. Jamming on the drums or xylophone help develop hand-eye coordination, and plucking the strings of a ukulele could help build the muscles in a toddler’s hands and fingers, which will help with grasping down the road. Rock on, Baby!

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