All children love making a noise so why not encourage them to make their own instruments made from things at home. Here are some ideas:
Yogurt Pot shakers: take used yogurt pots and fill with lentils. Cover with paper and then tape down to secure. Decorate with stickers or pictures taped round the pot.
Crisps tube long shaker: put a handful or large pasta shapes into the tube and pop on the lid. Tape down to secure.
Ice cream tub drum: put some dried bean or peas into a used ice cream tub and bang to hear them shake around inside.
Tubey shake: Take along wrapping paper tube and pop in a round ball or bell. Turn upside down to hear it roll down.
Trumpet: take a kitchen roll tube and decorate. Add some tassels on the end and ribbons to make it look great Simply toot down the tube!
Tin drum: take a biscuit tin and add some metal bottle tops or little metal spoons. Shake for a or bang for a metal sound.
Marble rolling: pop some marbles in a small metal tin swirl them to make a metal rolling sound.
Plate tambourine: Use a paper plate and punch hole round the outside. Take some nuts and bolts and metal items and tie them round with string or wool. Shake to hear them clang together.
Now, just put on some music and have a jamming session!
Kids instinctively love music, whether it's nursery rhymes, pop music, lift music or classical they do tend to stop and listen when they hear music being played.
All children, it seems, also like to make loud noises. Whether it's shouting, singing, blowing a trumpet, or just banging around they love to be heard. But what are the benefits of introducing music to children from a young age?
Why instruments are good for children
Watching your little one skip and prance around a church hall wearing a sweet ballet skirt and pretty little ballet shoes is undeniably cute. However, why should we bother introducing ballet or any kind of dance into the lives of pre-schoolers?
Choose a class that is fun focused and that it is an accredited school either the Royal Academy of Dancing (RAD) or Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD).
Musical instruments are great fun for making a bit of noise and banging, drumming or tapping in time with songs and music. Even more fun is making instruments yourselves and having a go at using your own creations. It's simple, and it's cheap and it's a great activity to do together. Here's how to make a few different instruments to play at home with the little ones:-
Maracas: half fill empty plastic bottles of all shapes and sizes with different sorts of dried beans and pulses. Pasta, dried peas, lentils, rice etc all make a great noise. Screw the top tightly so none come out and secure with tape too.
Drums: put some dried pasta into closed and sealed margarine tubs or yogurt pots with lids. Tape closed and drum with a wooden spoon. You will hear the beans jump around inside along with the drumming noise as they bang.
Trumpets: decorate kitchen roll tubes with stickers and streamers and simply blow and toot into them! Couldn't be easier and great to accompany a nursery rhyme.
Rhythm sticks: tie ribbons or streamers to wooden spoons and bang together in time with the music. Ideal!
Saucepans drums: an old favourite and super fun if you really don't mind a big, metallic noise! Set up some saucepans, upside down on the floor and give them a bang! Use wooden spoons or pasty brush for a more muted sound!
Cymbals: Clang two lids together or hit one with a wooden spoon. Don't use glass lids and be careful of dents!
Percussion: try jingling keys, tapping metal cutlery together, rubbing 2 scrubbing brushes together or even two pencils for a more gentle noise!
Whether a Grandparent or Aunty, or even a parent, babysitting a new born baby can be boring! Here are a few tips to make it fun for both of you!
It has been suggested that playing Mozart's classical music to underweight babies can help them gain weight whereas playing Bach or Beethoven does not seem to have the same effect! It has been surmised that because there are less repetitive phrases and melodies in other music, it seems not to work as well, according to researchers.
Scientists played exerts of music to babies who were underweight and born before their due date and assessed how much energy was used compared to when the babies were not listening to the music. The music usually lasted about 30 minutes. They were testing whether babies used less energy listening to calming music compared with when they were simply at rest.
After they heard the music, the babies seemed to use less energy which meant they gained weight faster. Doctors do not know necessarily how or why there is a link, but it seems the link exists.
They agree the music makes the babies calmer and more settled. It has been suggested that the repetition in Mozart's music may affect the babies' brain's cortex but they agreed that more research is required to explain this scientifically.
12th -19th June 2010 will be this year's National Childminding Week and registered childminders and nannies all over the country will be doing events and activities to celebrate! They aim to promote home-based childcare and hope to spread the word about the services they offer. The event has been organised by the National Childminding Association and this year's theme is "Reaching the right notes". The focus will be music and singing and there is even a special song: Ode To Childminding.
Childminders are registered professional child care providers and thousands of children throughout the country rely on the caring environment of a childminder's home.
Music is an integral and vital part of learning and can help children with vocabulary, speech, confidence building and simply having fun!
Scientific research shows that the neurological and developmental effects of music on children can be significant. It has fascinated scientists for years and they are yet to be completely in agreement. Compared to the long history of research on language, music is relatively un-researched and much less understood. It doesn't have to be classical music: all music can be beneficial from pop, to tunes on a child's toy, to the music at the ballet lesson. All music can be fun and encourage a child's physical, emotional and educational development.
Does music make children clever?
It does because whether they are learning a tune, a song a dance they are learning and using their body and mind to do something. Music helps spatial-temporal reasoning (which is vital for learning and understanding maths) and moving to music helps physical movement and develops the gross motor skills needed for moving and running. Fun is an important part of music too and is probably what toddlers and children are most interested in!
So, put on some music, have fun, and let's celebrate National Childminding Week in style!
Music is an important part of a baby's development but at different stages in their early life it can be used in different ways.
Newborns love music played softly. Prepare a nice warm room, cuddle up with your baby and put on some lovely relaxing music. Rock slightly to the rhythm and enjoy some quiet, peaceful time together.
3-6 month old babies love looking at you and your face so this is a great time to introduce singing to your little one. They will enjoy hearing your voice (no matter how good or bad you are at singing!) and will love to be near your face as you sing. Perhaps tap the beat of the music gently on their feet too!
6-9 month old babies are looking for a little more stimulation so this is a good time to introduce actions to your songs and rhymes. Gently hold their hands and guide their arms through the songs. Bounce them on your knee in time with the music and perhaps introduce puppets or teddies that dance along to the music too!
9-12 month old babies will be able to hold rattles and instruments when they are doing their 'singing'. Get hold of some nice bells or wooden rattles and shake in time with the music. See if baby can copy the sounds you make when you sing or the sounds the instruments make. Don't forget to have a dance around together to music. Sway, bounce, and even jig if you feel like it!
12-18 month olds will enjoy moving around a little more to music. Play all sorts of music - not just kiddie songs. Put on your favourite tracks and see how your little ones like it. Do some fast dancing, or slow dancing too. And, don't forget to have some relaxing time together too. Listen to the music in a comfy chair and have some down time.
Have fun and enjoy yourselves!
According to many music teachers, starting formal music lessons too early is a sure way to put a child off learning to play, but how do you know when your child is ready to learn something? It seems the overriding answer is that it should be child-led. If they show an aptitude, an interest or ask for lessons, then it may be time to consider it.
However, before they start they need to be able to recognise numbers and understand the alphabet from A-G. They also need to be physically able to hold an instrument or press hard enough to close valves etc. In addition, they need to be mature enough to be able to concentrate during a lesson.
What to start with:
Recorder - a common and popular first instrument. Its a great springboard to other wind instruments and children can start as soon as they have long enough fingers to cover the holes. It's light, easy to carry around and can make some nice noises!
Piano - as soon as your little one can reach the keys, they can start playing the piano. Groups lessons can be great fun and rewarding to young children.
String instruments - these come in various sizes to suit children. A violin sized 1/8 is suitable for a child aged 4 - 6 years, the ideal age to start learning violin is six.
Wind and brass instruments - these need to be tackled by older children once their second set of teeth are through. The pressure put on the teeth can cause damage. They also need to be old enough to hold the instrument and blow. Puff is essential!
Before you sign up for any lessons, chat to the teacher about it at length and, just as important, chat to other parents. Make sure your child is serious but even so consider hiring an instrument rather than buying just in case! Music is a vital part of our lives and our culture and can be an inspirational source of delight for children. We need, however, to be careful how much we encourage (or 'push') our children when they are little. Having fun with music, singing together, saying rhymes and just enjoying music itself is more important than being the first child in school to be playing a violin. It could put off a potentially talented young musician.
Toddlers enjoy actively listening to music; who knows, forging a healthy interest may nurture the pop stars of the future! From an early age toddlers will enjoy banging or rattling along to music. Give them a wooden spoon and a saucepan, or make a rattle out of a tube! Tape a double layer of greaseproof paper over one end of a toilet or kitchen roll tube, pour in some dry lentils or pasta, and seal the other end with greaseproof paper too. Watch and listen to your toddlers make noise along with a song they know - they'll quickly pick up surprisingly good tempo and rhythm!
Singing with Toddlers is also a lot of fun and imparts a wide range of benefit. Many children's songs teach counting and the ABC song helps to teach the alphabet. All songs simply help to grow memory and creativity as children absorb and learn them very quickly. You'll find that they can sing a song and make it sound pretty accurate even before they can speak or understand the words! As their vocabulary and understanding grows, so the words fall into place. You too can make up new verses to simple rhymes - make up songs about your child and include their name and you'll quickly have them in uncontrollable laughter!
You'll probably find toddler music groups in your local area. These are not aimed at teaching musical instruments but an introduction to sound and movement. Toddler music groups are a lot of fun - if you don't have one locally, why not start one and introduce simple movement and banging and rattling improvised percussion?
Nursery rhymes have their place, but don't forget to also introduce your children to the music you like to listen to! If your thing is classical music, then get them listening to Mozart. If you prefer ABBA, then have a dance to Mamma Mia! Get up and have a boogy too - especially if no one is looking!
Music can have a calming effect. Babies respond to music in the womb, even before they are born and even more so when they are newborn. Play something soothing and sit comfortably to listen together. When baby is trying to sleep, some nice quiet music can help to set the mood.
And, if your little ones get to like the music you like, it means when you're on a long journey you'll be able to listen to your musical choices and not endure endless hours of "Old McDonald Had A Farm", "Wheels On The Bus" and other classic, but nonetheless tiresome, nursery rhymes as you drive. Instead, you'll be singing along to music you all like!
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!
Play music to babies and toddlers to help them pick up the rhythm of music and language. As your child develops language, you will hear them singing along to songs that they hear repetitively, not singing the words but mimicking the sounds of the words. As their understanding grows, more and more of the sounds will become the proper words as they begin to distinguish the words and as their vocabulary extends. Later on you can use songs to help your toddlers learn counting, the alphabet, colours, the sounds that animals make and so on.
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