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Even Singing Off Key Can Bring a Smile to Children’s Faces

By Too Small to Fail

Even Singing Off Key Can Bring a Smile to Children’s Faces

If YouTube videos are any indication, most babies love music and singing. From a very early age, children enjoy hearing silly songs, soothing lullabies and even fun rock songs if those songs are sung by their favorite people—parents and caregivers! New brain research continues to confirm the importance of singing to children, and is revealing how even the simplest melodies can contribute to early brain development.

Singing—much like rhyming—is a special form of language that improves children’s memory, and teaches them rhythm and melody. Brain research has shown that when children are sung to, both the left and right sides of their brains are activated, strengthening their neural connections. Singing can also teach children new vocabulary words.

But children don’t get the same benefits from listening to a CD or musical video. According to Sally Goddard Blythe, director of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology, the benefits to brain development occurs best when a parent or caregiver sings directly to, and with, a young child.

Even if a parent or caregiver feels that they can’t carry a tune, young children appreciate the effort! Parents and caregivers can sing during everyday activities—like at bath time or before bed—to help their babies and toddlers develop important language and communication skills, and bring love and joy to every day activities. Don’t know the words? Adults can make up the words to a familiar tune, or insert a baby’s name into a song in order to spark their interest.

Resources for Sharing:

  • This blog post discusses research on the importance of music and singing to the early learning of children.
  • This article from Psychology Today explains the science behind the power of singing.
  • Many ideas for including singing and music into everyday activities, from Reading Rockets.
  • Five songs here to help parents and caregivers sing along with their babies and toddlers!

VIDEO: This talented mom tries singing a few different songs to this four-month-old, until he finally hears the one he likes. Check it out! >>

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