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Kids are drawn to music and most are singing simple songs by age 2 or 3. Exposure to music starts early when parents use singing to entertain or calm an infant or toddler. In fact, research suggests music stimulates endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good hormones, according to the ParentMap website. You can also use singing to soothe your child, encourage his speech and language development and as a teaching tool.
Toddlers find music comforting and often sing to their stuffed animals and toys just as you sing to them. Including singing as part of her daily activities creates more security for your child because she will know what to expect, points out Kids Health. You can use singing as cues for her to pick up her toys or that it’s bedtime by making up your own words to familiar tunes. Both toddlers and preschoolers normally pay more attention to what you tell them to do if you sing when you give them instructions. Words alone can be boring to little ears. But adding a bit of rhythm can make all the difference.
Although your 1-year-old might not be able to sing the words of a song along with you, she can join in the fun by humming, clapping or imitating hand and finger movements that accompany a song. You can chant simple tunes even if all you sing is la, la, la but sing slowly enough so that your child can sing along, too. As her speech skills develop, you can start singing words to the songs. It doesn’t matter whether you sing the actual words or make up words of your own that you sing to familiar melodies.
Singing helps a child develop his language and communication skills. Many times a child will sing before he can talk, notes the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. By singing, a child learns to coordinate his lip and tongue movements, which helps him to speak more clearly. When they sing, kids imitate words, which helps to build their vocabulary. A form of storytelling, singing encourages creativity and self-expression. In addition, singing helps build a child’s memory, develop his concentration skills and teaches him how to listen.