We all know little ones love to hear and make new noises, whether that’s banging on a drum or their rattle on their floor!
To you it may be a little bit of a noise, but to them it’s the beginning of their musical talents and a great way of learning!
At a glance
- Any noise is good noise
Learning through music
Music has amazing benefits for the brain. In fact some research suggests it’s the only activity that can actually raise a child’s IQ if they do it regularly before the age of seven.
Music to their ears
Right from birth, babies are tuned in to music: simply hearing a song will activate lots of different centres in the brain, including memory, language, spatial reasoning and listening. Toddlers are the perfect age to learn about rhythm. Encourage them to clap, tap their feet or move to the music, alternating between fast and slow tracks so they can get an idea of how each one feels.
Research shows that good rhythm skills can improve a childs later maths abilities, and also lead to better problem-solving and general intelligence. (That’s something to think about when their latest saucepan drumming session is giving you a headache).
Learning to sing along is another key skill they can learn as toddlers and pre-schoolers, although it will be another couple of years before they can sing in tune (this usually comes aged 5-7).
Studies show singing is brilliant for encouraging their budding language skills (they love to predict the word that comes next in a familiar nursery rhyme) and it also helps with attention span, concentration and memory.
Listening to music is great, but learning to play is even better. As toddlers they’re a bit young to learn an instrument, but you can help their musical education with the toys you buy.
A simple xylophone is fantastic, as is a wooden drum and – later - a children’s electronic keyboard.From the age of one, try the Mega Bloks First Builders Bobby Barn Musical Farm, which combines building and stacking play with cute characters and fun farmyard sounds for hours of creative play and learning. Alternatively the Billy Beats Dancing Piano from Mega Bloks, which has three different play modes: listening to songs, creating their own songs and playing different instrumental sounds gives your little ones the chance to dance to their home-grown tunes, practice their rhythm, balance and co-ordination, and experience the exhilaration and joy that music brings – whatever age!
You can see more about your toddler's development with our milestones chart.