Music has a pretty powerful effect on people, and Baby is probably no different. The secret to raising a musical toddler is simple: since toddlers learn best by doing and experiencing things, the best way to help Baby enjoy music is by getting him involved in making or interacting with it. Instead of playing music for Baby and hoping that he likes it, encourage him to play, sing, or dance along with the music that he experiences.
Get Baby grooving
There are all kinds of things you can do to help Baby experience music in a fun, engaging way.
- Old and new: Listen to all kinds of music with Baby. Young children like listening to the same songs over and over, to get familiar with them. Once you find the songs that get Baby‘s feet tapping, you may find yourself making a playlist that gets played over and over and over, so take a little care to introduce songs you won’t mind getting stuck in your head.
- Sing together: Sing at any chance you get. You don’t even need words – you can just sing sounds together! You can also make up stories with a song. Try recording Baby singing on your phone; he will probably love hearing his own voice.
- Dance it out: Learn some songs that have specific movements that go with them, like ‘itsy bitsy spider’ or ‘patty cake.’ Dance together or play dancing games like ‘freeze dance.’
- Give Baby props: Buy some small instruments or musical toys to keep around the house. Or if you’re feeling super creative, spend a rainy day together making homemade instruments.
- Read up: Find some books about music, or look at pictures of musical instruments together.
- Get out of the house: Sign up for a parent-and-toddler music class, or find ways to see live music together.
Marching to your own drum
A final thought on helping Baby enjoy music: you really don’t have to be musical at all to raise a musical enthusiast! All you need to do is be willing to be silly, encouraging, and open to sharing your music-appreciation with Baby. Lots of parents worry that if they sing out of tune, or if they don’t know how to play an instrument, it might decrease their toddler’s enjoyment of music, or it might make them less-inclined to pursue singing or learning an instrument.
But the fact of the matter is, you’re the perfect person to introduce Baby to this whole new world. Music can have so many positive benefits for your young child, and for the relationship that you two share. Who knows? You might discover another passion or talent of your own along the way.
- “Introducing Toddlers to Music.” KidsHealth. The Nemours Foundation, Jun 2015. Web.
- Rebecca Parlakian with Claire Lerner. “Beyond Twinkle, Twinkle: Using Music with Infants and Toddlers.” NAEYC. The National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2010. Web.