As we all well know too well, life can be very busy being a parent. Between dropping everyone off, picking everyone up, work and dinner it’s difficult to do all of the things you need to do, let alone the things you would like to.
The beauty of music is that it can be very flexible. You can switch it up to match your child’s interests, whether it’s just the two of you, or four, or a bigger group. It can be used to set moods, to calm, to inspire, to encourage movement. You can fit it into the activities that you already do on a day to day basis and before you know it, it will be something that is just within your everyday routine, as opposed to being one of those things that ends up on the list of things you would like to do with your little ones.
Some general day to day tips on bringing music into your everyday routine
1. Play Music in the background
This is by far one of the best ways to establish a musical environment for your kids at home or in the classroom. Try and keep the music choices as broad as possible – this helps not only develop your child’s own taste in music but in recognising different genres. So try playing not only your favourite music, but a mix of music you hear on radio stations, kids albums as well as classical music.
2. Invitations to discover and explore music
“Invitations to play” are a great way to engage kids and encourage them to explore things for themselves. A sound wall or a music wall, or station is a great idea in order to encourage kids to make music when they are just playing. You can check out our slightly different take on a music station here, as well as some additional examples from around the web of how you could set up an invitation to explore music.
3. Finding music in household objects
Check out our very easy to make recycled maracas here
Bringing Music into your Baby’s everyday routine
Singing songs based around the time of day or making up little songs based upon what you are doing is a great way to introduce music, rhyme and routine to your baby from a young age.
A Hello Song would work well here, but the favourite in our house was always Good Morning from Singin’ In the Rain (see video below). The day seems to get off to a better start when you begin it singing!
This is a great time of day for familiar little tunes and rhymes. As ever, little made up ones or made up words to a familiar tune work well, As do little finger plays and rhymes such as peek a boo and open them shut them. One of my favourites though is Under Teddy’s Jumper – very sweet and perfect for changing time.
Knee Bobbing Songs
Perfect if you’re waiting at any point of the day with your little one on your lap!
Knee Bobbing songs are brilliant for babies, who love the strong rhythm and rhyme that often accompanies the words, as well as the great hilarity of the movement.
Check out some Knee Bobbing Song ideas here.
Often the traditional approaches are the best. Lullabies at bedtime are a wonderful way to soothe and comfort as well as establish a good bedtime routine. Babies will love it when their parents sing lullabies to them, here is an album that you can sing along to which I recorded a few years ago – free to listen to here.
Bringing Music into your toddler’s everyday routine
All of the above, plus..
Getting dressed/Doing Chores and jobs
Songs with a good pace can often engage kids with things like getting ready for the day with a bit of rhythm!
Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush is brilliant for this – so easy to add in extra verses “this is the way we brush our hair” “this is the way we put on our clothes” “this is the way we go to the shop” “this is the way we sweep the floor” etc. etc.
Bath time is a wonderful time to sing a whole host of songs!
Bringing Music into your preschooler’s everyday routine
All of the above, plus…
Simple Clapping Games
As I’ve already mentioned – playing music in the background is a wonderful way to develop a musical ear as well as expose your child to a variety of different musical styles.
When my kids were little, they used to make an imaginary band with my husband where they would dance/play the stool/bench/broom etc along to my husband’s favourite songs. A lasting memory to be sure.
Sing, sing, sing!
Just singing all the time with your little one is a great way to engage your child with music – it certainly doesn’t matter if you don’t consider yourself a singer – your kids won’t mind! Singing is a great way to have a laugh, bond and communicate as well as de-stress.