In Kindermusik classrooms all around the world, Kindermusik educators are as much about providing a rich, lasting musical learning experience for the child as they are about giving parents lots of tips and resources that help make great parenting just a little bit easier. In fact, we have quite a few musical tricks up our sleeve, and we’ve put together our top 10 just for you.
#1 – Sometimes you just need to dance.
When your child is cranky or stir-crazy, or for that matter, when you are feeling a little cranky or stir-crazy, dancing to your favorite song can change the mood in an instant. A slow dance is great for reconnecting and calming, while a happy, lively dance gives an outlet for pent-up energy.
#2 – Pots, pans, bowls, and plastic utensils make for an instant kitchen band (and buy you a little time to fix dinner!).
While you’re fixing lunch or dinner, settle your child in a safe place near you in the kitchen surrounded by his/her own musical exploration station. Nothing fancy needed here, but metal bowls and plastic utensils can keep a child happily occupied while you get the meal prepared.
#3 – A lullaby routine can help your child settle down for bed easier and faster.
Even if you don’t remember all of the words, establishing a routine of cuddling, singing, and rocking together before naps and bedtime can be a wonderful way not only to connect with your child, but also to help them be more ready to settle down for a good nap. And you’ll love the memories you’ll have too!
#4 – Running errands is lots better with music in the car.
Sing, wiggle, and tap together as you drive around time. It will make the time pass quicker, and your child will probably stay a lot happier. Singing and listening to music in the car is also a great time to interact with your child, while giving them some quality exposure to music.
For some more free ideas and 5 free songs from Kindermusik International, click here.
#5 – A CD or playlist of quiet, relaxing music is great for some musical “white noise” during sleep times.
You know that lawn crew or barking dog that always seems to pick your child’s nap time to make the most noise? Chances are that sudden outside noises won’t even cause a stir if your child is listening to music during nap time. We love Kindermusik’s “You Are My Sunshine” album or “A Child’s Gift of Lullabies” by Greenville’s own Emile Pandolfi.
#6 – A large towel or laundry basket makes for a fun and imaginative hayride wagon!
Even little ones love going along for a ride, especially when you add some lively music to ride along to! This makes for a nice break in between piles of laundry, and it always makes for a good workout for mom too. Try it – it’s more of a cardio workout than you might think!
#7 – A couple of old scarves are perfect for swishing, twirling, tossing, bouncing… and playing peek-a-boo!
Add some music and maybe even some bubbles, and you’ve got the formula for a little magic and a whole lot of giggles. You’ll probably even want to join in on the fun! Make a playlist of some fun, lively music intermixed with slower, lyrical selections, and you’ve just created a fun, indoor activity that can keep your child occupied for a good long while.
#8 – Keep an instrument basket handy.
Collect some age-appropriate instruments that your child can explore. Keep these in a basket or container in the playroom or in the family room that you can easily pull out when you or your child want a little play time. Your child can explore on his/her own, but better yet, sit down with your child and enjoy a family jam play-along with some of your favorite music, or initiate a musical learning experience by exploring and labeling concepts (high/low, in/out, up/down, loud/soft) and timbres (the unique qualities of sound).
#9 – Say “I love you” in so many different ways with music.
On the changing table, during bath time, after a meltdown, or even just first-thing in the morning, there’s nothing better than a song or a dance with mom (or dad!). No excuses… your child thinks your voice is the most beautiful thing in the world, and if you’re really that self-conscious, sing along with some music on your phone. Or just cuddle your child up in your lap and savor the moment. You can also use singing or rocking to distract your child from a meltdown or to reconnect after a particularly emotional moment. In fact, here are 5 free Kindermusik love songs to get you started.
#10 – You don’t have to be a musician to teach your child to love music.
All you have to do is make music a priority in your home and in your daily routines. If you model a love for and interest in music, chances are your child will develop that same love. Creating a musical environment in your home and investing in music classes from an early age is a precious gift you can give your child. There are few better gifts you can give your child than putting a song in their heart – for now and for life!
Visit a Kindermusik class today and learn even MORE secret musical tricks!
Written by Theresa Case, who has loved sharing music tips for over 20 years now in her award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in beautiful upstate South Carolina. This article was originally shared with the loyal followers of Kidding Around Greenville.