4 ways to use early childhood music to help children sleep

sleeping toddler finalSleep. It’s such a simple word. And, yet, for parents with young children—or early childhood educators with a classroom full of wiggling and giggling little ones at naptime—sleep can seem like a mirage that teases and tricks and lingers just out of reach. Or, it can leave us driving around willing all the lights to stay green so our little ones will stay asleep just a little bit longer.
While this lack of sleep bonds us together, it also isolates us in our individual struggles to lull our little ones to sleep. No need to call a Sleep Nanny just yet. Try these musical solutions to help solve childhood sleep woes.

4 musical ideas that puts children to sleep (literally)

  1. Listen to lullabies. Lullabies can lower the heart rate of children and help grown-ups to relax as well.
  2. Use soft, quiet music the same time each evening to signal that sleep time is near. Routines and rituals help young children make sense of their world and predict what comes next. Listening to the same music at the end of the day tells children that it is time to get ready for bed. This can mean bath time, cozy pajamas, a story, and then a final snuggle before lights out.
  3. Be consistent with musical selections. Familiar tunes work best to signal to a child that bedtime is near.
  4. Teach children their own soothing lullaby. Children learn through repetition. So, by singing a favorite song night after night, children will not only learn the song by heart, but they will learn a musical self-soothing technique. Bonus: That same tune can help calm children under stressful situations, like a skinned knee or a visit to the doctor’s office.

We know there is power in early childhood music. Whether used as part of a toddler curriculum to teach early literacy and language skills, played in the background at toddler play groups, or even used in the middle of the night to lull an infant to sleep, music puts a soundtrack to childhood. And, music and learning go hand in hand!

Looking for musical solutions to other parenting challenges? Visit a Kindermusik class to connect with other families where you can discover more about the benefits of early childhood music. Find a local Kindermusik educator today!

10 Reasons Why Toddlers Thrive in Early Childhood Music Classes

Since Kindermusik International is the world’s leader in early music and movement learning, we could probably probably give you 10,000 reasons why toddlers thrive in our early childhood music classes with Kindermusik educators all around the world using our toddler music curriculum.
But we’ll keep this short, sweet, and to the point and just share 10 of our favorite reasons why early childhood music, and specifically Kindermusik classes, are so important for young children.
Music - happy familiesReason #1: Parents are engaged and involved with their toddler for the entire class and toddlers blossom with this kind of focused attention and quality time together.
Reason #2: Toddlers benefit from the social facet of the class, watching their peers, making friends, and practicing sharing.
Reason #3: Creativity and imagination are ignited through Kindermusik’s rich, multi-sensory learning environment.  Music and learning go hand-in-hand.  Watch this video for more!
Reason #4: In a Kindermusik program, most children will have the opportunity to have the same caring, nurturing Kindermusik teacher for several years, providing a security and familiarity that enriches the learning process.
Reason #5: The Kindermusik curricula deliberately expose toddlers to a wide variety of musical genres and styles, expanding their musical taste and appreciation.
Reason #6: Toddlers absolutely thrive on happy rituals and predictable routines, both of which are an intrinsic part of each and every Kindermusik class.
Reason #7: At a time when vocabularies are exploding, Kindermusik classes inspire toddlers to practice silly sounds and learn new words through songs, chants, and vocal play.
Reason #8: Toddlers love to go, and Kindermusik classes give children a safe place to actively explore all of the different ways little bodies can move.
Reason #9: Kindermusik classrooms are a place of discovery and delight, and nothing is more satisfying to a toddler than to be able to do and explore all by himself – with mom or dad close by, of course!
Reason #10: The Kindermusik curricula are carefully designed to give these active learners exactly what they need when they need it, inspiring a love of music and an appetite for learning that will last a lifetime.
cute girl making a funny faceCome see for yourself how your toddler will thrive in a Kindermusik class!  Try a free Preview Class today.  We promise… Kindermusik is one of the best things you can do for your child.  We’d love to show you why.

Shared by Theresa Case who owns an award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, SC.

Let the fun and games (and English Language Learning!) begin

(Source: http://www.inspiredbysavannah.com/)
(Source: http://www.inspiredbysavannah.com/)

Ever wonder why toddler play groups are more commonly called, “play dates”? Sure, there is the obvious play involved on a certain date, but to be more accurate, why not call them “work dates”? After all, play is work to a child. Albert Einstein claimed that “play is the highest form of research.”
Even babies use play to research their world. In fact, through play, infants learn about every new sound, sight, taste, movement, and touch. Older children also use play to learn how the world works, better understand their place in it, and to practice important life skills: such as language skills, social-emotional skills, and creativity. Children make work look like fun!

Using fun and games to help English Language Learners

Now, new research from The University of Nottingham shows that playing simple games using words and pictures can help people more easily learn a second language. The study used spoken and written foreign language words along with pictures showing their meaning.
Initially, English speakers with no knowledge of Welsh, looked at English and Welsh words on a computer. They were asked to determine if the two words both contained the same letter. They also heard the word being spoken and saw a picture of what the word meant. They were not asked to learn the words themselves.
Some time later, the same English speakers were asked to specifically learn the correct translation of the Welsh words. Half of the Welsh words were presented previously. The researchers found that the participants did better on the Welsh words that had appeared in the first part of the study.
PhD student Marie-Josée Bisson, who led the study along with Drs Walter van Heuven, Kathy Conklin and Richard Tunney, explained in a press release: “Anyone attempting to learn another language would benefit from activities such as simple games using foreign language words and pictures, or foreign language films with subtitles where they can enjoy the activity without focusing on trying to learn the words. The results of this study suggest that these kinds of informal activities can facilitate language learning, even days afterwards.”

Using fun, games, and music with young English Language Learners

ABC English & Me - Teaching English to Children through MusicWhile the study above focused on adult learners, the results impact English language learners in the early childhood classroom, too.  ABC English & Me, our English Language Learners curriculum, uses ESL activities for kids, words with picture cards, puppets, and English songs for kids to teach young children English. From the first song at the start of each class to the last shake or tap of an instrument, children quickly become engaged in actively learning English through fun, games, and, of course, music!
Plus, we provide materials for families to use together at home. These monthly interactive materials support the classroom learning, while giving parents the tools they need to continue the English language learning at home.

Learn more about bringing ABC English & Me and the power of music to your school!