Here's How To Help Expand Your Child's Language And Vocabulary Skills: Introduce Toddlers And Preschoolers To Musical Games

Research shows that participation in musical games has many positive effects on kids.

When kids sing, they organize vowels and consonants in a rhythmic pattern which helps to build language and vocabulary skills.

Musical games also help to develop kids' fine and gross motor skills, resulting in better coordination. Putting movement and music together uses both sides of the brain.

Of course there's other reasons to introduce music into your kids' lives: It's just plain fun!

Kids love music and even simple activities can become musical games with a little preparation.

In fact, any simple activity can be put to music. For example, kids love bubbles, so putting on some fun music and blowing bubbles around the room will be sure to thrill them. "Camptown Races" is a great example of a song for kids to blow bubbles to.

Using tissue paper, you can easily cut out several copies of an object. For example, rain drops. With gentle classical music playing in the background, these tissue paper cutouts can be tossed gently to “fall” on the kids. "The Waltz Of Flowers" by Tchaikovsky and "Claire De Lune" by Debussy are two examples of music that would work well with this activity.

Another fun activity that kids love is using egg shakers. Using the egg shakers, kids can bang out the rhythm to any song that has a strong beat like "The Song That Doesn't End" or "Boom Boom Ain't It Great To Be Crazy."

You can also share songs that go along with simple hand motions or dance moves, like The "Eensy Weensy Spider," "The Wheels On The Bus," "If You're Happy And You Know It," or "Two Little Blackbirds."

Sing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and teach your kids to make the motions themselves. With a little bit more teaching on your part, even your young ones can learn the motions to this song. To add a twist to this song, you can add a verse for the big fat spider, sung in a low voice and using the both hands together as a large spider. The third verse can be the 'teensy-weensy' spider, sung in a very high pitched voice with only the thumb and fore finger of each hand together to indicate an even smaller spider.

Another good song to sing with kids is "Old Macdonald." This song will teach kids a multitude of animal sounds, many of which kids can pick up and repeat at a very young age. The older your kids are, the more you can encourage them to pick the animals. To mix it up some, you can sing silly "Old MacDonald," using animals that are not typically found on a farm, like a dinosaur or a panda bear. It is always great to be able to used puppets or stuffed animals to illustrate the song as well.

The song "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" is a great way to teach your kids the various parts of their bodies and get them moving at the same time.

If there is a group of kids,"London Bridge"or "Ring Around The Rosey" are fun songs and games to play.

Don't be afraid of playing musical games with your kids. Even the simplest toddler tunes and childhood songs can be turned into fun musical activities.

The benefits are great - it can kick-start learning and help your kids in almost every area of school, including reading and math!

It's Time To Learn, Laugh, Sing & Grow!
By Jennifer Wagaman & Kiboomu

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