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Toddler Talk: Music

“Bam bam!”

“Rattle rattle!”

“Plink plink!”

The toddler jamboree was in full swing in my living room. My friends had come over with their toddlers and the one to three year olds were having a blast making music. Marching, banging drums, shaking maracas and playing the toy piano were the name of the game today! Oblivious to toddler noise by this point, the parents were talking over the noise and enjoying adult conversations that did not involve the words “milk,” “poop,” or “more.”

Even if your child is not musical, instruments are great for learning about sounds, cause and effect, rhythm, pitch, melody, harmony and teamwork. Music is a part of life and is also part of the school curriculum for most children up to high school. Exposing your child to music early in life will have lifelong benefits.

Toddler will enjoy music that they can experience. This means that if songs have body movements like clapping, hand motions, and stomping, then toddlers are more likely to get engaged and have learn with the music. Think about songs like “The Wheels on the Bus” or the “The Grand Old Duke of York” or “Clap Clap Clap Your Hands.”

As you sing songs with your toddler, she is also learning about language and speech. Singing toddler tunes are a great way to help your child learn to say words out loud and practice enunciating words clearly. Some children are slow to talk because they can express their needs just by grunting and pointing to what they want. Talking is a necessity when singing songs because we need to say the lyrics out loud in order to sing. A fifteen month old toddler should have at least two words. An eighteen month old should have at least three words. Between eighteen months and two years of age, spoken language rapidly develops. By two years of age, your child should have over twenty words and speak two words sentences.

If your older toddler is not yet saying many words on his own, encourage him to copy your words before he receives what he is trying to get. For example, if he normally pulls you over to the refrigerator and points and grunts to get you to give him milk, then before you comply, say the word “milk” out loud and have him copy you before you hand over the goods!

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