The One Thing that Isn’t on Your Baby Registry But Should Be

Congratulations! You are having a baby. Whether pregnant with your first or fourth, all babies need certain things. Usually, this means adding them to a baby registry or shopping at your local consignment sales (or a combination of both!). Typically, the parents-to-be wish list includes diapers, rocker, crib, clothes, baby bathtub, stroller, specific toys, etc. However, there is one thing not on most baby registries but it really should be…music. Wait. What?

Musical NurseryMusic marks so many important milestones in our lives, such as singing a song on your birthday or walking across the stage to receive your diploma while listening to “Pomp & Circumstance” or dancing the first dance together on your wedding day. So of course, music should be a part of this season in your life, too! Plus, music gives parents a go-to resource for playtime, bathtime, bedtime, and hanging-around-the-house-in-our-pajamas time! You don’t need to deck out your child’s nursery like this one in order to bring music into your child’s life. (Can we pause to say “Wow!”?) Here are some ideas of what to include on your baby registry.

What to Include on Your Baby Registry for Music Lovers

  1. Lullaby Music—Music can help babies sleep better and even from an early age signal the start of the bedtime routine. Some of our favorites include:
  2. Baby safe instruments—Develop fine motor skills right from the start with instruments specifically created for the littlest member of your family. Plus, you Gift Certificate Baby Boynever know when you might want to start your own family band! Consider including:
    • Egg shakers
    • Chime balls
    • Baby bells
  3. Musical books like these: (Check out our “Books for Kids We Love” board on Pinterest for hundreds of more ideas.)
    • Hand, Hand, Fingers Thumb by Al Perkins
    • Elephants Can Not Dance by Mo Willems
    • I Know a Shy Fellow who Swallowed a Cello by Barbara S. Garriel
    • Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss
    • Any rhyming book!
  4. Gift certificates to a music class. Music classes can provide some tender one-on-one time between you and your baby and also get you plugged into a community of other families with children the same age as yours.

Gift Certificate Baby GirlGift Certificates to Kindermusik class make a great baby gift, too! We will get you started with one free class for your baby boy or baby girl. Find your local educator today!

Contributed by Lisa Camino Rowell, a freelance writer living in the Atlanta area.

Turn Bath Time Battles into Happy Tub Tunes

As if we parents needed any more guilt trips about experiences we’re not giving our kids… thanks for raising the bar on bath time, Pinterest!  Despite how you may feel after perusing Pinterest, you really don’t need frozen ice cubes in different colors, glow-in-the-dark sticks, colorful bath paints, or epic construction or princess themed bath times. All you need is your voice and an “instrument” or two! 

Dollarphotoclub_49610785 - musical tips for turning bath time into fun timeHere are a few musical tips for turning bath time into fun time – all minus the tears and tantrums.

Who says you only sing in the shower?  Singing in the tub can be even better.

Sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” “Looby Loo,” or “The Hokey Pokey” as you bathe your child. For older children, mix up the words for extra giggles. So, while you sing about putting “your left leg in” wash the “right arm instead.”

Establish your own BTSO – Bath Time Symphony Orchestra!

Create a water symphony with all of the bath sounds (splashing water, water pouring out of and into cups, rubber duck squeaks, etc.). Help your little one practice active listening by talking about what the different sounds are and asking your little one to identify the sounds, too.

Try a little back-and-forth play, vocal play, that is!

You make a sound, and wait for baby to imitate. Say a short little rhythm, like “ta – ta – ti-ti – ta,” and have your toddler echo back. Or sing a phrase of a song, and see if your preschooler will sing the next phrase.

Bubbles make everything about bath time even better.

Sing the “Bubbles” song from Kindermusik as you bathe your child. Notice how this Kindermusik educator pauses the bubbles and encourages young children to communicate that they “want more, please.” Consider making a bubble bath or blowing bubbles, too.

BubblesCreate a sweet little bath time lullaby routine.

Listen to lullaby music in the bathroom to signal to your child that bedtime is near, and soon it will be time to start settling down for the day – once your little one has had her after-bath massage.  (This is a great time to rub in that baby lotion and connect in a special way with your child by singing softly and making lots of intentional eye contact.)

Looking for more practical parenting tips?  Visit a local Kindermusik class and discover even more ways to make great parenting just a little bit easier with music.

Contributed by Theresa Case whose award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios is located in beautiful upstate South Carolina.

 

Kids Sing the Cutest Things

Wrong LyricsWe’ve all sung the wrong lyrics to a song. Pre-Internet days, we probably even engaged in some spirited dialogue with friends about the words to certain songs when the artist did not include the lyrics! (Hold me closer, Tony Danza, anyone?)

Somehow, though, when children mis-sing a song, our love for them grows and we run to get the camera to capture the cuteness! Take this sweet little nugget. He is singing a beautiful rendition of “Fifty Nifty United States,” including Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, and the newest state of the union: Massachusettsippigan.

Mis-sung lyrics is one of the reasons we include lyrics in Kindermusik classes so we can read the words to an unfamiliar song. However, while Kindermusik certainly supports early literacy development, most Kindermusik students are not fluent readers so they can create some of their own interesting lyrics.

Here are 5 “mis-sung” lyrics heard in a Kindermusik classroom.

Floating Down the River:

  • Misheard lyric: “Two in the middle and ketchup juicy.”
  • Actual lyric: “Two in the middle and you can’t jump, Josie.”

Mama Paquita

  • Misheard lyric: “My mom buys pizza”
  • Actual lyric: “Mama Paquita”

Home on the Range

  • Misheard lyric: “Hold, hold on the reins.”
  • Actual lyric: “Home, home on the range.”

My Bonnie:

  • Misheard lyric: “Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my body to me, to meEEee….”
  • Misheard lyric: “Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my bunny to me!”
  • Actual lyric: Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my Bonnie to me!

YC boy with new logoDoes your child sing the cutest thing, too? Upload a video of your little one’s funny moments singing the incorrect lyrics on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram. Tag with #KidsSing

Let Music Draw Out Your Emotions. (Literally!)

socialResearch continues to show that academic success relies heavily on social and emotional well-being, right from the start. Helping young children to recognize and label feelings supports healthy social-emotional growth and is a vital skill in early childhood education. Emotional awareness includes:

  • self-awareness
  • self-regulation
  • social competence
  • social awareness

The Arts can be a tool to help children recognize and express emotions. Music inspires a variety of feelings in the listener and sometimes those feelings can be expressed through yet another art form, such as art, dance, drama, or writing. Try this game at home or in the classroom to support social-emotional development.

Music Game: “See the Music”

Listen to six different pieces of music, each paired with a piece of art. Then, can you match them back up again?

Feel the Music Game

Here are some fun ways to extend the learning of this game:

  • After playing the game a few times, point to some of the paintings and ask children to verbally describe the type of music that each painting represents. (Would the music be loud/soft? Fast/slow? What kinds of instruments might make the music?)
  • Play the musical samples from this game, without the visuals. Encourage children to be inspired, and away from the screen, to draw, write, paint, dance, or enjoy any other art form while listening! How does their artistic expression change if the music changes?
  • Talk with children about how they feel when they listen to each piece of music. Can they use feeling words (not just sound words or visual words) to describe what they’re hearing?
  • Put on some brand-new music, of your choice, and create art in response to them.

Kindermusik@HomeAll Kindermusik classes include activities and resources to extend the learning outside the classroom. Learn more about the educational activities created specifically for families to do together outside of the classroom.

Helmets and Music Training Both Protect Kids’ Brains

Researchers continue to find more and more connections between music training and cognitive function. In a recent study, scientists determined that music training in the early years prevented the decline of speech listening comprehension, or speech recognition, in the later years of life.

What may seem like a hearing problem in older adults may actually be a decline in the brain’s ability to parse, sequence, and identify sounds. However, the Bidelman study found that older adults who had at least 10 years of musical training as children did not experience the same declines as older adults who had not had musical training.

music note“The latest findings add to mounting evidence that musical training not only gives young developing brains a cognitive boost, but those neural enhancements extend across the lifespan into old age when the brain needs it most to counteract cognitive decline.”

We couldn’t agree more. In Kindermusik, we start musical “training” with children as young as newborns and continue through age 7, after which Kindermusik graduates are more than ready and excited to take the next step into success with traditional music lessons. Our early childhood music training in Kindermusik takes the form of happy singing, creative movement, listening, instrument play and exploration, and fun activities that teach foundational music concepts and skills.

You wouldn’t dream of letting your child ride a bike unprotected and without a helmet. So don’t forget another kind of protection… the lifelong protection of your child’s cognitive functioning that can come from music training, especially in the early years.  We promise, they won’t fuss about putting on their music “helmet,” especially not with Kindermusik!

3 Favorite Musical Activities that Support Cognitive Development

listening-moving-playingFocused Listening

Whenever your child’s attention is focused in on one sound, he or she learns to compare the differences between sounds and how they are produced. And unlike the physical act of hearing, listening is an intellectual and emotional process that involves listening “between the lines” to understand what is NOT said as well as what IS said.  What better time to get started listening to music than at the very youngest ages, during those critical early years when the brain is developing the most rapidly!

Movement

Movement is the key to learning! A young child’s brain NEEDS movement in order to develop fully. Crawling, rolling, walking, skipping, swinging, jumping… When you observe and encourage your child to move in lots of different ways, you are helping to ensure your child’s healthy brain development. That’s because our brains fully develop through all kinds of movement activities – the more variety, the better the capacity for learning.

Instrument Exploration & Play

Exploring instruments may seem like just fun and games, but it is actually a very crucial part of early learning. For example, when children are given an egg shaker to explore, they will likely use several of the five senses because the senses are their basis of discovery. This kind of sensory learning develops long-lasting cognitive skills… AND if you add in an egg shaker play-along, also develops a wonderful sense of rhythm and steady beat!

Learn more about more of the wonderful benefits of early music training. 

Contributed by Theresa Case whose award-winning Kindermusik program is located at Piano Central Studios in beautiful upstate South Carolina.