Babies aren't able to clap until they are almost a year old - clapping requires greater coordination than you might think! From 24 months, babies are able to participate in clapping games. Encourage your kids to clap along to the rhythm of a rhyme, or to repeat a rhythm back to you. You can also experiment with different types of clap - have your toddler clap their hands on their legs, rather than just clapping hands together; or clap your hands against your children's hands. Clapping games can be great to keep your kids occupied for brief periods, especially as you dont need any equipment and can play such games anywhere!
Playing music to your babies and toddlers encourages listening and movement - play whatever music they seem to enjoy. Many studies claim that playing music encourages learning and creates more intelligent children - although evidence may not yet prove that, there are no downsides to playing music to babies or toddlers. Toddlers can be given implements to bang together, or be encouraged simply to clap, to help them establish rhythm - this in turn plays an important role in the development of language. Encourage your children to express themselves as they wish through music - even if their dancing is terrible, it will certainly entertain you!
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