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Educational Toys - How to Develop Your Baby's Musical Skills

Music can help babies and children to develop lots of vital skills, including auditory, cause and effect, social skills and concentration.

Children can get a huge amount of pleasure from learning a musical instrument, or even just listening to music.

Learning a musical instrument also helps develop both fine and gross motor skills.

How can you encourage your child to learn through music?

Newborn to six months:

Newborn babies are often soothed by the sound of your voice singing. My two boys will still ask me to sing them a nursery song and smooth their hair back when they're feeling ill! It doesn't matter what you sing, either. My husband always used to sing the boys an old U2 song, and I had a repertoire that included Waltzing Matilda.

Playing music softly in the nursery can help some babies drift off to sleep, although I'd recommend choosing gentle music rather than sing or dance-along tracks!

Some babies are fascinated by a musical mobile, which can be great for entertaining wriggly babies having their nappies changed if you hang it above the change table.

 Best Toys to Help Develop Musical Skills in Babies

As baby gets a little older and can grasp toys, you can give your baby a musical toys or a rattle. Providing baby with musical toys will help them to understand cause and effect, and to develop auditory skills. If they shake the rattle, they’ll hear a sound.

A rattle will help with their hand eye co-ordination (reaching out to grasp the rattle), as well as their gross motor skills (arm movements to shake the rattle).

Music for Newborns - at Hello Charlie

Six to Twelve Months:

Instead of having the television on in the background, why not play some music instead?

Put music on and dance with your baby in your arms. Twirl around, do some dips and get happy!

Provide your child with noisy toys that they can make sounds and music on. Babies love to shake a noisy rattle, or maracas, and this will help with their motor skills as well as their understanding of cause and effect - shake the toy to make a sound.

Music and singing can help baby with auditory skills. A song about clapping hands will teach baby that when she hears the words, she needs to clap her hands. There's lots of great nursery rhymes that you can sing with your baby and get her to perform the actions, like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" or "I'm a Little Tea Pot".

Musical Toys for 6 month olds - at Hello Charlie

One to Two Year Olds:

Let your toddler make music on a toy xylophone, or a drum - which can be a toy drum or may just be an upturned container.

Make some musical instruments - dried beans in an old juice bottle make a great shaker.

Teach your baby songs that you can sing together. Songs with actions are great, as they help keep your toddler engaged.

As your baby learns to walk, put some music on and clap hands, do the twist, shake those hips and do some twirls along to the music.

Music for 1 year olds - at Hello Charlie

Two to Three Years:

Sing active songs together, such as “Heads and Shoulders, Knees and Toes”, “Five Little Ducks” or the "Hokey Pokey".

Play different kinds of music to your children, such as jazz, classical, opera and rock, as well as dedicated children’s music.

Children can begin formal training on an instrument when they’re three. Before this, just let them play music for fun.

Learning to play music is not only a great skill for relaxation and enjoyment, it's been proven that children who learn a musical instrument perform better academically as well.

Musical Toys for 2 and 3 year olds - at Hello Charlie

Looking for age appropriate toys to help your baby or toddler develop their musical skills? Check out Hello Charlie's range of musical toys right here.

Copyright © Vanessa Layton 2013

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