Music is a powerful medium – there are not many people in this world who don’t like music in one form or another. Babies love music – from the lullabies that can calm them down and even send them to sleep to upbeat sounds that have them jigging along. We all know that there are some musicians that are naturals – needing no formal musical education, they just CAN play. Some of these talented musicians are able to pick up any instrument (even one they’ve never used or seen before) and immediately get a melody of some sort out of it.
Providing your little ones with music makers at a really early age is great for creative development and, who knows, they may just grown up to be the musical superstars of the future. Joking aside, giving kids the means to produce sounds is really valuable – not to ensure that they play instruments in years to come, but to let them enjoy the creativity they’re born with.
You don’t need to buy a load of expensive musical toys for your child – there are many ways of making sounds with stuff you find around the house. Of course, musical toys are brilliant for babies and young children, so don’t turn your nose up at them, wishing to maintain a peaceful household. Some of the most useful and best-loved kids’ toys are the noisy ones.
Pots and pans and a couple of wooden spoons make for a great drum kit for babies – they can bash away at them to their heart’s content and when you’ve had enough of the noise baby can help you put everything away again in the kitchen cupboards (good for developing sorting and organizing skills).
You can make a variety of shakers by filling small pots and bottles with ingredients from the kitchen. Dried peas, lentils, rice, pasta, sugar – all of these will produce different sounds when put into a pot and shaken. Choose different size pots (face cream tubs, small shampoo bottles, small pop bottles can all be used) and experiment by filling with different materials in differing amounts.
Dragging a stick across railings produces sounds, so does tapping metal objects. Teach your baby to explore the world around him, looking for the sounds as well as the colours and textures. You may not have another Mozart on your hands, but it’s a fair bet that your baby will enjoy music from an early age.