Mothers easily hum lullabies to hush their fussing infant. Singing to a baby is as natural as feeding them. But how many mothers continue singing to their child when they are toddler, school age or even teenaged?
Consider these ideas:
Scientific studies support the concept that singing to your child provides sensory input to the undeveloped infant brain cells to help them build and connect.
A Brigham Young University study found that music had a positive impact on the physical development of premature infants.
The rhymes in songs allow the brain to experience the sounds that are spoken and will increase the reading and math skills of a child.
It is believed that the emotional bond between parent and child is strengthened when the child is sung to and taught to sing.
Studies with older students discovered that they could learn hundreds of vocabulary words a day and retain 92% of them when they listened to music while studying.
Sing to Your Infant
A mother’s voice is the the infant’s link to the world. When the baby is in the womb he cannot see but CAN hear his mother’s voice. So just hearing your voice is comforting to your little one. But when you sing you will really engage him.
Sing lullabies of course, when the little one needs calming but also sing happy songs, and rhyming songs! Make up a song! Your baby does not already know the words to songs so anything you sing will be fine, especially if you put your baby’s name in it. Pick up your baby and dance when you sing. You will both enjoy it!
Sing with Your Toddler
This is the age for rhyming songs. Of course sing The ABC song, a number song, and any teaching songs, like “Put your finger on your nose, on your nose.” Sing familiar songs you remember from your childhood. If you don’t remember the words, get a CD with children’s songs on it and sing along with it. Play and sing the songs when you are on a automobile ride. Sing with your child when you go for a walk, “Skip, skip, skip to my Lou” or push him on a swing or bathe your child while singing “Row, row, row your boat.” Sing and clap your hands and dance with your toddler. You can’t be too silly; toddlers love silly songs!
Sing with Your School Age Child
Take advantage of this special age to sing fun songs that have many verses to remember. Car rides are perfect for this, and will keep the children occupied and stop bickering. Try “99 bottles of juice on the wall.” They may be asleep by the time you count down to one! Let each choose a favorite! Sing while doing household chores that are tedious. Using rhythmic songs while stacking the wood pile or racking leaves, such as “I’ve been working on the railroad.”
Sing to Your Teen
By this age, you may not get your youngster to sing with you, but you can use a song to change the mood. One inventive Mother uses the song from the Disney favorite, “Frozen” when her teen is in a meltdown about something. She simply breaks out singing “Let it Go!” at the top of her voice and often manages to get a smile and turn a frown into a smile. Encourage rather than discourage your teen to play appropriate (music that has a positive message) while studying.
Whatever the age, find songs to sing. You and you child will be happier with a song on your lips and in your heart!