1. Pull out those pots and pans. Children love to explore music with a variety of materials, and the kitchen is the perfect place to look for inspiration. Drying racks make great scraping noises, and what little one can resist getting to play with cookie sheets, mixing bowls, wooden spoons, and even Tupperware. When your child is done, you can keep the selected "toys" out in a small stack for a few days, spreading them out now and again for some musical fun. When the novelty wears off, simply wash them and put them away.
2. Create a music station. Your child's age will depend on what you put in your music station. A small child can simply have a bin filled with rattles and other shakers and noisemakers. As your child grows, you can introduce a small childproof radio (We have the Discovery Kids MP3 Boom Box). An older child could operate an iPod or CD player on their own to select their own music.
3. Order Children's CDs from the library. Set aside time each day to play the fun CDs, make up movements, use instruments from your music center, and just have a ball. It's great when the parent sings along and participates in making up gestures and clapping a beat. Young children naturally imitate, and so you actually help them learn by getting silly and showing them what to do.
4. Sign up for an early childhood music class. Music and movement classes are a great way to introduce musical skills in an age-appropriate environment. There is also the added benefit of the children interacting. They learn and grow together, and social skills are learned just as much as musical skills are. Having the chance to play, sing, and explore with others their age helps them to learn to play appropriately in a social setting. In addition, you learn songs, movement, and rhymes that you can do at home to extend your child's learning.
5. Create songs that go with your child's routine. Bedtime, morning time, washing hands, and cleaning up are all great times to introduce a musical cue. It helps with behavior, and it brings one more element of music into your day. It's great when the songs that you have been singing start to get sung right back to you. For ideas about which songs to use, read my post on using music in routines.
For more information about milestones and musical skills, click on my link above that pertains to your child's age. You will see the developmental goals for each age group, and you can assess where your child is in their musical development. And next time you hear crash, boom, bang, put on a little smile, and let the learning begin!
Tags: routines, music, early childhood, children, center, instruments, songs, CDs, MP3 Player, library, class, fun, activities, baby, babies, toddler, toddlers