As a music educator, with experience teaching music to young children for over eleven years in various forms, I know weekly I am still on the hunt for fresh ideas to help really engage the little learners I am around. I’ve compiled fifteen creative articles on infants and toddler music activities, most of which are written by fellow educators. This infant and toddler music guide is designed with both parents and educators in mind, as the activities highlighted here can translate into the classroom or a home environment.
What you’ll find in the articles below is information about the Mozart Effect, simple instructions for making homemade maracas, music’s role in a child’s development, seasonal songs, toddler music games, songs for thematic units, transition time tunes and instrument making, along with other topics all dealing with music and the young child.
Have you ever wondered what really happens when you listen to music with your baby? Listening to music can contribute to the production and release of endorphins. Finding out the real benefits of playing tunes for your little one will have you turning up the radio more often.
What happens to a baby’s brain when classical music is turned on? The auditory system is one of the first systems to develop in a baby’s body, and as a child develops brain synapses are formed. After certain ages, different snyapses have been formed to the point that new learning is harder to take place. Learn how exposing an infant to music can be a wonderful way to soothe, stimulate and even enhance intelligence.
Bright Hub author, Kara Bietz, researches and writes about a little known study testing the Mozart Effect. In the 1990’s two neuroscientists put the Mozart Effect to the test by doing a study involving college students and their spatial intelligence before and after listening to classical music You can find out the results of this test, and then make your own conclusions on whether you think music is beneficial to a child more clearly after reading this article.
These songs introduce two common spring activities- planting and rain. The tune I’m A Little Teapot turns into a creative song about seeds, while the chant Open Them, Shut Them becomes a rain song completed with hand claps for thunder. With simple motions, these songs come to life, just like spring!
Whether you decide to play the ABC musical game, a unique, toddler-friendly version of musical chairs, or plan a homemade musical parade, the ideas in this article are sure to be a hit with toddlers. Keren Perles, a former educator offers creative ideas on how to make simple instruments for the parade, and she teams classical music with a drawing project to engage the learning styles.
Have you ever noticed that most toddlers like to do everything loudly? Dynamics are used in music to show whether a passage is to be played, or sung, loud or soft. Toddlers can begin to learn these opposite terms through the following three, fun songs.
The Wacky Wiggle, or the Achoo Song might not be the next hitting the top-forty pop music chart this week, but toddlers will love these short, silly songs. The Wacky Wiggle will help toddlers release some extra internal energy, as the Acho song teaches about germs. You will also find a silly version of Hickory Dickory Dock and a song about good hygiene.
Transitions can be difficult for young children. These circle time songs to open and close the start of the day for a toddler can be a great addition for your classroom. Whether it’s good morning, you’re wanting to say, or finding a song to help children move back to a cirlce after spreading out, these songs and a goodbye tune are covered here.
Author Tania Cowling is a former early childhood educator who has written three books for teachers. Coming in as her second most read article, “Piggyback” songs are ones that are sung to familiar melodies, and this article is full of these transition time tunes! If you’re looking for a way to signal to your class it’s time to wash their hands, clean up, or say hello and goodbye, you’ll find easy to learn songs here.
If you’re looking for transition songs for art, calendar time, or just a simple get the wiggles out melody, look no further. Written by the same author featured in the article above, she’s back with extra simple songs for an early childhood classroom. A welcome song and a clean up tune are also shared here.
Here are easy to understand instructions on how to make seven different types of musical instruments with your toddler. Household materials are used to make these toddler-friendly instruments. Shakers, a water xylophone, harmonica, strummer, kazoo and bells are featured here.
Two easy-to-make instruments are highlighted here, adapted from the book Kids Make Music: Babies Make Music Too, along with the importance of music and movement for toddlers. Using common materials like oatmeal containers, glue, beans and rice, the instruments are easy to make at home or in the classroom. Turn on a Latin Music CD after completing the projects for a true thematc experience.
There are many versions of the story, The Three Billy Goats Gruff. The songs featured here help a simple story come to life. Learning in layers, like singing a song and reading a story about the same topic, touches upon different learning styles. Author Patricia Gable has written a super creative tune to do with your child, or classroom, after reading this book.
Two, four, six, eight, what do we appreciate? Songs that teach toddlers more about counting and numbers! Sing these familiar tunes with your toddler to enhance beginning math skills. Counting, addition, subtraction, and money are all featured in this article.
When you’re teaching your class, or child, about colors, adding a melody makes remembering them easier. Orange is a Carrot is sung to Itsy, Bitsy Spider, the Rainbow Color Song is to the melody Oh, Christmas Tree, and If You’re Wearing Red is to the tune If You’re Happy and You Know it. The familiar melodies in the songs here are rewritten with colorful lyrics!
- Image: Cello Study. Author: Michael Maggs, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported