Music Is Important For Early Development – Wish for More Music in Kids’ Programs

Music is important for early development. One parent’s wish is for more music in kids’ programs, daycares, preschools, and kindergartens. Bet kids agree.


This month, parents, grandparents, and adults who work with young children are being asked the question, “If you had one wish you could use for children’s early education and development programs, what would it be?” The answers give clues about what matters.

When it comes to priorities of kinds of activities kids need, music often comes lower on the list. Maybe it’s because we take it for granted. When we think about it, major events and celebrations for adults include music. Music is part of the background in stores, theatres, tv shows, and work and fun spaces. Sporting events use music as part of the package for watchers and players and companies use music for branding. Without us thinking about it, music plays a big part in our lives.

music important for early development

It also plays a part in early development. Bright Horizons, in an article on kids and music,  gives these reasons, “Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression. For children and adults, music helps strengthen memory skills.” (Children and Music: Benefits of Music in Child Development)

Singing can happen anywhere and anytime. Besides favorite songs like Eensy, Weensy Spider, The Alphabet Song, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Old Macdonald, and The Wheels on the Bus, make up your own for getting dressed, picking up toys, and making the bed. Combine different words with familiar tunes.

This is the way we make the bed, make the bed, make the bed.
This is the way we make the bed, we pull up the covers.
(Tune: This is the way we go to school.)

music important for early developmentListen to all different kinds of music. When you can, dance to music too. Or, hop, skip, and jump. Music can be both energizing and relaxing. Music is important for early development. Is it something you wish for your child too?


Resolution Words for the New Year #4 – Kids Learn and Play with DANCE

New Year’s Resolutions aren’t typically for fun, but this resolution word and play of-the-day certainly is; kids learn and play with DANCE. This is an earlier post to inspire some dancing fun.

May I Have This Dance?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the easiest music activities with kids is to put on some music and dance around. From a very young age kids enjoy moving their body to music. There are pages and pages of YouTube videos of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers dancing. In the 4 min compilation below, short clips show more than 20 kids of various ages dancing to music.

childrens-371004_640-pbyLittle is needed in terms of materials for babies and kids to dance, just some music and a space to move. The floor is likely safer but as you can see in the video, kids will dance on the table and the sofa, inside the house or outside. Although on the surface, it doesn’t seem like any preparation is required, kids have had to learn how to move various body parts. As they move to music, they are not only figuring out how to coordinate a variety of actions they are also listening carefully to the sounds and rhythm and responding to that as well.

dance-xChildren will each have their own style as they dance to music while some of the ways kids move will imitate what they see. How children dance reflects the culture and the actions of adults. Kids will dance to all kinds of music and a variety of instruments. The music can be with or without accompanying words and the words themselves can be in any language. The music might be provided by parents and caregivers singing or just humming or maybe with a greeting card powered with a tiny battery. Kids themselves might make the music for their dancing.

Dancing is an activity enjoyed by people of any age. Just this weekend, I attended an afternoon of music at a seniors’ care home. Instead of holding on to a coffee table for support like a small child, some of the dancers were holding onto their walkers or just moving in their wheel chairs. For a play-of-the-day for your child–and you–can you put on some music and dance?

After all, kids learn and play with dance.

Christmas Songs and Music for Kids Invite Play

Christmas songs and music for kids are full of fun and action, much like children themselves. The music and the words inspire many different ways to play, like singing, dancing, and making music.

Christmas songs music for kids

As adults, we groan when stores begin playing Christmas music because we have heard the popular songs over and over gazillions of times but that’s not the same for kids. They may remember from the year before but not only are these songs fun to hear, but fun to sing too. Even wee little ones love the Hey in Jingle Bells and add it whenever there is a pause. The songs Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer have inspired whole movies and television shows.

Besides these three favorites, we can use other children’s songs with different words for Christmas. To the tune of Hokey-Pokey, kids can put in their hands and sing:

You put your front hooves in, you put your front hooves out.
You put your front hooves in and shake off all the snow.
You do the Reindeer-Pokey and you dash all around.
That’s what it’s all about.

To put in back hooves, that is feet, would be tricky to do at the same time, so put in the left hoof (foot) and the right one separately. Use antlers, tails, and noses too. For noses (red noses optional):

You put your red-nose in, you put your red-nose out
You put your red-nose in and you blink it on and off.
You do the Reindeer-Pokey and you dash all around.
That’s what it’s all about.

red nose faces

Christmas music doesn’t need words. Put on some of your favorite music and let kids dance around. Kids will make up their own moves to the rhythm. We can dance with them and enjoy the brief time together. Frosty the Snowman uses dancing right in the words. Are there some other Christmas songs and music for kids you can suggest?

Bells and drums are strongly connected to Christmas. Kids, from little ones to big ones, can make drums with anything. Bells come in a variety of sizes from small ones that jingle softly to much larger ones that drive parents crazy. Metal pans and a wooden spoon make a noise, er sound, that is like a drum and a bell. Play a few songs and let kids tap or ring along.Christmas music and songs for kids

Christmas songs and music are more than notes and words. They come combined with memories. Voices echo to us despite the years. Do not let worry about your voice not being good enough stop you from singing with your kids and family. Are any of the voices you hear in your memory ones you would love to hear again no matter how flat or off-key? When we listen to someone we love singing, we listen with our hearts not just our ears.

Christmas songs and music for kids inspire a variety of play and when it’s time to say goodnight, do they also encourage sleep?

Medals and Moves: Dancing for Young Children

Part of the Olympic Closing Ceremonies in Russia included a wonderful ballet performance. Many of the ballet moves looked like some of those in Pairs Figure Skating and Ice Dance. Dancing is another activity that supports young children’s learning, early development and kindergarten readiness. For fun in February, I’ve included some blogs about things people … Continue reading Medals and Moves: Dancing for Young Children

Kindergarten Readiness Rocks! Dancing for Fun and Learning

Kindergarten readiness rocks today with some rockstar dancing. Dancing promotes all kinds of brain connections and physical development . When I was doing some recent blog posts on using the 5 senses for learning and  brain development, I learned that we can add 2 more. Besides taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing we have the … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness Rocks! Dancing for Fun and Learning

Kindergarten Readiness – Super(Bowl) Half-Time Show at Home

During the Superbowl half-time show I saw a lot of music and dancing. The only thing I noticed was that Madonna somehow changed costumes. I did think that we enjoy the same thing as adults that we do as kids except that for kids the music, costumes and dancing is something they do rather than … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Super(Bowl) Half-Time Show at Home