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Music Offers Fun and Brain Power, Too

Too Small to Fail
By Too Small to Fail


Many parents enjoy watching their babies and toddlers bounce and clap to dance music, or listening to them sing a song (even if the song has made up words and is off-key).  Music can be quite enjoyable for young children, and it offers many learning opportunities as well.

Researchers have found that music is important because it helps create a “rich sensory environment”— experiences that activate different parts of the brain to form new connections. A recent study of 165 toddlers by the University of Buffalo showed that early and frequent exposure to music improves vocabulary and understanding of language.

While simply listening to music is good for the mind, the best kind of music for young children is the kind that they can actively participate in, like marching or clapping. Parents can actively encourage their little ones to participate in musical activities by dancing, tapping, or even swaying to music together. Very young children enjoy activities like banging on pots with wooden spoons, shaking cans filled with dry beans or banging lids together.

You can also encourage your child to enjoy music and build their vocabulary by teaching them the words to your favorite songs, or making up new lyrics together. Young children benefit most from music—and many other activities—when they experience them with loved ones.

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VIDEO: What do you get when you combine a popular television show with information about how parents can close the word gap? This week’s episode in ABC Family’s “The Fosters”! Watch here. >>

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