It’s was the Rise Early Learning first birthday last month and we want to share with you something special to make at home. We’ve got lots of great ideas for presents which will help babies growth and development but we want to encourage you to make something a little bit special. Babies love singing but we often end up singing the same songs over and over again. Here for the rescue comes… The Song Box! This is a box full of prompts for well-known children’s songs and rhymes, you might include a boat for ‘Row, Row, Row your boat’ and a mouse for ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’.
Music, songs and rhymes have a profound impact on us! Children are particularly affected by music as it can change their mood, help them to relax or get them excited. Music is an excellent development tool and support children’s learning across the domains.
We have all seen studies about how music improves academic performance so we have summarised the highlights for you here.
Music provides opportunities for repeated, joint language use. This helps to lay the foundations of speech for babies and young children in a fun and engaging environment.
Early Reading Skills
Every time you sing a song or say a rhyme your child is being exposed to language, as they begin participating they are developing their own vocabulary, listening skills, understanding of rhyme and memorisation skills.
Singing together provides a special moment during the day for you and your child. Songs are powerful memory makers and your child will remember these positive moments in years to come.
Gross and Fine Motor Development
Dancing to music is great for physical development! Gross motor skills are tested as children engage in whole-body movements (Like the Dingle Dangle Scarecrow), fine motor skills are promoted during songs with hand actions (Open Shut Them).
Learning Across Domains
There is so much learning that can come from a simple song. Some of my favourite songs are about counting, addition and subtraction – 3 Cheeky Monkeys, 5 Currant Buns. There are also many songs about topics or experiences – The Wheels on the Bus, Miss Polly Had a Dolly.
Creating your own ‘song box’
You will need to find something to hold your song prompts. Try a cardboard gift box at Kmart. Think about what your child’s favourite songs are and start with 5-10. You can look around your house for items, buy them, draw them or use a photograph. You might find eBay very helpful!
These are some of our favourites:
● ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ – a toy bus
● ‘Twinkle, Twinkle’ – a plastic star
● ‘Galumph Went the Little Green Frog’ – a frog
● ‘I’m a Little Teapot’ – a small teapot
● ‘Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Turn Around’ – a small teddy
● ‘Row Your Boat’ – a plastic boat
● ‘Open, Shut Them’ – a picture of hands
● ‘Polly Put the Kettle On’ – toy kettle
● ‘Way Up High in the Apple Tree’ – apple
● ‘5 Grey Elephants Balancing’ – an elephant
● ‘Bee Bee Bumble Bee’ – a bee
● ‘Zoom, Zoom, Zoom’ – a rocket ship
Using the Song Box can be a special time that you and your child spend together. Try setting a timer and spending 10mins singing together and enjoying each others company without any distractions.
As your child grows you can add new prompts to the song box, but you may find that they continue to love their old favourite.
A song box is our new go-to present as it can easily be adapted for children of various ages and interest levels. We hope you have fun making and using one!
The Importance of Music in Early Childhood. by Lili M. Levinowitz – https://www.musictogether.com/about/research/research-based-program/importance-of-music-in-early-childhood
Children’s brains develop faster with music training. By Emily Gersema – https://news.usc.edu/102681/childrens-brains-develop-faster-with-music-training/
Does your child have music hiding in their soul? By Maggie Dent – https://www.maggiedent.com/blog/does-your-child-have-music-hiding-in-their-soul/
World Nursery Rhyme Week – https://www.worldnurseryrhymeweek.com/