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Minnesota Childrens Museum Blog

A recent study showed that children are, on average, consuming more than seven hours of media per day. One of the categories mentioned is listening to music. The Museum has a few ideas of how to positively develop a love of music.

1. You can help your child develop their listening skills by encouraging them to tune into the sounds around them and try to mimic them. Some fun suggestions are: walking footsteps, skipping footsteps, galloping footsteps, running footsteps, a ticking clock, rippling waves on water. The rhythmic possibilities are endless!

2. You can use household items to create your own instruments. Pots and pans can be used with wooden spoons to create drumming beats or even plastic Tupperware for a softer sound. Two pan lids could by used as cymbals. Two tablespoons taped, back to back, can be used for tapping each other or even tapping on your knees. Be creative and find the many sound possibilities in your household.

3. After experimenting with home made sound instruments, a great way to familiarize your child with rhythm is to play along to any recorded song. They can drum, shake, tap or jingle along to any music. Remember that there is no right and wrong way to play and you will be surprised at how inventive your child can be.

4. You can encourage your child to create simple rhythm by using their spoken language. Demonstrate to your child how you can clap, tap, rattle, or drum the rhythm to a favorite phrase such as:

Mary Had A Little Lamb (or any other nursery rhyme)
Listen to the clock-tick, tock, tick, tock
Cake, Cake Birthday Cake

Or invent your own sounds and words.

5. You can play your own game of rhythmic “follow the leader.” Clap a simple rhythm with your hands and encourage them to copy you as they play one of their homemade instruments or clap or tap their hands.

6. You can incorporate some physical movement into your rhythms by making your own band and marching, skipping, hopping or whatever movement comes to mind as you move around inside or out. Another game is a quiet-and –loud activity. Play a loud rhythm on an instrument and have your child reach above their head when they hear the loud sound. Next, play a quiet sound and have your child touch their toes when they hear a quiet sound. You can also play this game by using your voices, speaking loudly and quietly.


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