Music helps their social, emotional and neurological development. Familiar rhymes and songs help soothe and calm your baby and encouraging little ones to explore vocal sounds is a key part of speech development. Not only does music feel good for the soul, but the cognitive benefits to also support your child’s early development are amazing.
My little boy absolutely loves listening to music and one of his favourite things to do is for us to put on his Tonie for him to sing and dance to. He confidently sings much more than he can talk and many toddlers will be able to recognise, hum and move to the rhythm and beats of their favourite familiar songs.
Learning new vocabulary through the medium of singing is beneficial for not only young children, but children with English as an Additional Language and Special Educational Needs. Without realising it, through singing your child is developing their co-ordination, sensory development, vocabulary, early literacy and mathematics skills and most importantly improving their well-being.
So, in this blog post I’m going to highlight the benefits of singing for little ones and exactly why children should be singing more! Plus, share some items to help you sing to your baby, and sing with your toddler and children!
1. Language Development
Exposure to music and songs supports a child’s natural ability to be able to differentiate between different types of sounds. This is the beginning of being able to talk, read and write and leads up to phonological awareness. By singing songs, nursery rhymes and familiar tunes to your child, you are helping them to identify sound patterns through repetition. They in turn will begin to replicate and repeat these sounds and tunes, which will in turn lead to them using the language and words in the song. The song gives new vocabulary a context for them to also develop their receptive language skills and a fun, relaxed and engaging way to explore new words. Ultimately, they are learning through play – which as you know, is the best way to learn!
2. Early maths and literacy
Think about the most common nursery rhymes, for example – 5 little ducks. There is so much mathematical talk you can get from this song! Counting, subtraction, ordering. When singing children can anticipate what is coming next in the song and they begin to learn about structuring, sequencing and patterns in language. A song very often tells a story which is the beginning of simple story telling skills too.
3. Sensory Development
Listening is one of our senses and quite often one that doesn’t spring to your mind straight away when we talk about sensory play, but just how messy play, different tastes and textures aid a child’s sensory development, so too does music. Being exposed to different types of music, beats, rhythms and songs can help create more pathways between the cells in your child’s brain. This effect increases even more if you link the music to other activities such as dancing, storytelling or drawing. Making learning multi-sensory means the learning is more likely to stick – think about your favourite songs, you can sing so many off by heart without even trying!
Singing and music has a positive impact on children’s mental health which is crucial to children being able to learn. If their mental health is poor, they simply cannot learn effectively. Through singing children can gain confidence, boost their self-esteem, improve their immune system, relieve stress and improve their mood. Singing is good for the soul and even at a young age children can relate to different types of music, for example a lullaby to calm them down or an up-beat song to dance to. Quite often when singing or listening to music children will also dance, which equally has a positive impact on their physical health which supports their mental health too. It’s scientifically proven that singing out loud actually releases endorphins that make you happy and positive!
5. Co-ordination and motor skills
Action songs such as head, shoulders, knees and toes are a great way to develop your little one’s co-ordination, gross and fine motor skills as well as their ability to concentrate and focus. Action songs ensure children are actively engaged and learning, and again, make learning new vocabulary multi-sensory. Songs and music provide opportunities for brain breaks which are important for getting more oxygen into our bodies which helps keep us healthy and alert. Your child may enjoy jumping up and down or moving to the music which will help with their muscle development, strength and balance too.
Have you seen our newborn + learning through play cards? They provide 16 song cards with an idea or activity to do whilst singing the songs with your little one. Perfect to get music in to your little one’s day to day routine from day one!
I also recommend this amazing mini piano to enhance your child’s musical play!