At the end of most of the activities on this blog there’s an ‘add a song’ option. The songs add so many benefits to the activities!
Music emphasizes words through pitch, tone and repetition. These musical characteristics are hallmarks of the way we talk to children, because they help teach kids new words and how to put them together into phrases and sentences.
Language is a way we learn about the world, organize and understand new information. Songs help to teach kids the language they need to feel confident about trying something new.
2. Rhythm And Melody
Rhythm and melody can change the mood of an activity and change our moods! A faster song can help wake up a child who is under-alert and a slower, soothing song can help calm a child who is anxious or upset.
Music can also be hugely calming to us. It’s really difficult to keep calm when dealing with a stressed out child! But kids pick up on and mirror our emotions, so staying calm ourselves is often the best way to calm a child. Slowing down with a calming song can lower our heart rate, which helps calm everyone around us. Now that’s a great cycle to start!
Because the words, rhythm and melodies in songs are repetitive, they can make kids feel more comfortable in an activity because they know what’s coming next. Adding this repetitive structure to play with songs can help relax kids who are uncomfortable with part of an activity (like touching new foods).
4. Engagement and Participation
Music is continuous and keeps children interested and engaged in an activity. Where it can be difficult to pay attention to directions, when we sing about what we’re doing, the song keeps kids listening to what comes next.
If you are using a repetitive song, kids can sing along pretty quickly, which helps them learn the language of the activity and stay positively engaged and participating. When kids can sing along it also gives them a sense of ownership over the activity. This is especially empowering if the activity itself is difficult for a child because they can still be really good at the song part!
Music makes any activity more fun because it creates a richer experience and it allows everyone to participate, which is more fun for everyone!
So get silly, have fun and sing while you play (with your food)! Happy food-play!