Young children seem to have an almost natural musicality; adoring all sorts of fun, musical interactions, be it through song, rhymes, moving or playing an instrument. We’ve all seen the joy in a child’s face when they’ve pulled out the pots and pans and are banging away merrily with a wooden spoon or dancing and twirling around the kitchen to an upbeat tune on the radio.
The role of music in early development
Music can be a powerful mood enhancer making us feel happy, calm or even sad. It has the ability to transport us directly to a time or place that we connect with a particular song. From such a young age kids seem to get this and appreciate the beauty and transformative qualities that music has to offer. Furthermore, music plays a key role in supporting young children’s early development; through encouraging talking and movement as well as developing emotional and memory skills. Studies have also shown that music can develop fine motor skills, help with language skills and even improve overall IQ.
So, it feels like we should encourage children to explore and experiment with musical instruments, songs and rhymes and embrace music as much as we can within our homes.
Fun ways to make your home life more musical
- Sing well-known nursery rhymes/songs with them at bedtime e.g. Five Little Ducks or Row, Row, Row the Boat.
- Try using calm, soothing music just before bedtime to help the kids relax and wind down.
- Have family sing-alongs in the car and the bonus is that it makes the journey go so much faster.
- Create a family playlist of tunes that you all contribute to.
- Introduce the kids to music that you love or loved as you were growing up. My girls are slowly developing an appreciation for Oasis!
- Take a trip to a music shop to have a look at all the different musical instruments.
- Have a box full of musical instruments for children to choose to play with.
- Make musical instruments using pasta/rice and plastic bottles.
- Create fun, silly songs to sing during routines e.g. bath time, brushing their teeth, tidying up toys. We even had a ‘poop’ song for toilet training times!
- Mix it up in the kitchen with pans and a wooden spoon to help them practise drumming a beat.
- Plan a musical outing. At this time of the year there are loads of music festivals to try or even a trip to see a musical or orchestra.
- Make kitchen discos a family thing. Turn the music up loud and throw some shapes on the kitchen floor.
How Hopster can help
At Hopster we believe that music is not just fun but it’s a great way to encourage kids to express themselves freely and learn to be confident and creative. That’s why we developed Bubble Beat, a music game that helps kids learn to play simple tunes, play back a series of notes and develop their “inner hearing”. The new game joins Hopster’s suite of fun learning games, all housed in a colourful games blimp. For musical inspiration, kids can listen to over 100 songs and nursery rhymes in the app including Hopster’s original music playlist, Hopster Jam.
Hello, my name is Lelia.
I’m Hopster’s Head of Learning. I have over 15 years’ experience in teaching, across the Early Years, Key Stage 1 and 2 and as an Assistant Head Teacher. I specialise in literacy with a focus on developing teaching and learning within the Early Years and Key Stage 1. For me, working alongside Hopster is a perfect opportunity to be involved in developing specialist technology that delivers education in a fun and entertaining way.