For very small children music is a powerful tool that goes beyond speaking. Having shared musical experiences supports an infant learning in all domains. Being intentional about how you integrate music by figuring out what you want your child to gain from the musical experience helps you choose activities that support specific areas of development. Today we will talk about how music supports social and emotional development with some examples of songs you can sing with your baby.
Activity: Supporting social and emotional development through music
Experience and practice self regulation
Listening to lullabies are the perfect way to calm down a fussy baby. When adults help babies calm down, they are helping them learn to soothe themselves. A lovely rendition of lullabies can be found HERE.You might also get a few winks in yourself!
Singing about feelings helps babies gain an understanding of the words used to describe emotional experiences. The song “ If you are happy and you know it”, fits the bill. You can a number of versions of this song on youtube.
Heightens Cultural Awareness
When you share different song genres that include different rhythmic beats, instruments and even songs in different languages the importance of respecting different cultures is validated. Putomayu has a number of international playlists you can find on YouTube, LIKE THIS! . These songs will get you and your baby and anyone else in your house moving in no time!
Toddlers and Preschoolers
Activity - Cook with a Book!
Cooking with young children is a fun and sometimes messy affair. It is a wonderful activity to do with your child for taking advantage of hands-on learning . When cooking is integrated with a literary experience the learning multiplies. This week we will be sharing some fruit recipes and tie it into one of our all time favorite books “The Hungry Caterpillar”.
This week’s recipes: FRUIT RECIPES
What you need:
Shopping List: Available fruits and any of these ingredients if desired: granola, honey or agave, yogurt
What you can do:
Share Eric Carle’s classic tale about a caterpillar with your child and then with your child see what kinds of fruits you can find in the refrigerator. Use an assortment of fruits that your child enjoys eating. As you select the fruits, talk about the shape, color, size of the fruits. How many fruits are you going to use for your recipe? ? If you child is ready for this you can extend this activity by categorizing the fruits in order of size or taste preference from favorite to least favorite.
Next, take out all your ingredients with a cutting board and a child safe knife.
After washing hands (a great way to sneak in a hygiene lesson,) have your child wash each of the fruits- this could be the highlight of the activity!
Recipe 1: Fruit Salad
With your child, take your fruit and make a fruit salad. You might need to cut some of the fruit into smaller pieces so they can feel success when they cut it up. You can add other ingredients like yogurt, a, little honey or agave, or granola for a different twist
Recipe 2: Frozen Fruit Bites
A frozen fruit treat is both refreshing and nutritional. Berries, bananas or mangos work best, but any soft fruit will do.
With your child, mash up the fruit with a bit of honey or agave if you desire
Fold in the yogurt until you have a nice consistency
With a spoon, drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a baking sheet or plate. You can also put granola in the bottom of a muffin pan before adding the yogurt.
Freeze for at least 2 hours and then.. enjoy!
Recipe 3: Fruit Slushies
Frozen fruit is another way to make a special snack. All you need is a blender, a cup of frozen fruit and a cup of juice or milk. Just put fruit into the blender and pour in 1/2 of the liquidBlend until smooth. Add a little more liquid if needed. Freeze for at least 2 hours and then... Enjoy! If you would like to read other books on this topic, check out Ms. Natalie's Video!