Rhythm, music, songs and stories for babies

One of the main interests in our baby room currently is ‘Rhythm, Music, Songs and Stories’. The babies have participated in a variety of activities such as:

  • The song box
  • Exploring children’s chatterboxes
  • Listening to the Ukulele
  • “Dear Zoo” story sack
  • Group time singing songs and reading stories
  • Making a den to use torches and sing songs
  • Exploring musical instruments
  • Dancing to music

The Song Box

song-box

This is a favourite within the baby room. This is a cardboard box that has been decorated using wrapping paper and pictures. The box has been filled with objects and toys that relate to children’s songs. At group time, the children sit together and have the opportunity to pick out a toy or object of their choosing. As a group, we then sing a song relating to the toy or object they have chosen. This is repeated so that all of the children can have a turn, supporting not only the children’s interest in songs, but their developing turn-taking skills too.

music1

The babies also loved listening to the Ukulele and exploring musical instruments. The musical instruments are always available as part of our continuous provision within the room for the children to explore and this is also a great way to settle the children if they are a little upset. Our babies also like using the musical instruments within group time when we sing songs. Javed kindly let us use his Ukulele and the babies were mesmerised with the tune that was played. We sang songs along with the tune of the Ukulele and the babies really enjoyed it, demonstrated by clapping and laughing.

Chatterboxes

dear-zoo

Chatterboxes are a great tool to support children’s communication and language development. By using some of the children’s favourite toys and pictures, this encourages them to use sounds and words in play and also develops their confidence. It also strengthens our partnerships with parents, so by working together, this provides the best outcomes for the children.

Benefits and importance

Songs, rhymes and picture books are a great way to help your child to develop their language and communication skills. It’s never too early or too late to start singing and rhyming with your child. If a child is a little upset, singing is a great way to comfort them, using a calm and soothing voice. Songs, books and rhythm give children a sense of joy and excitement about language which will naturally help to boost their desire to read and write.

Rhymes also help us to learn to play with words – they tune our ears to all the sounds in the word. By hearing different sounds, we learn how sounds combine and blend together to form a word. Children love imitating familiar people so you may notice your child making faces trying to copy you and the way your lips form words – this is a fun way to support children’s development.

Music is a creative experience which involves expression of feelings. Children often do not have the words to express themselves and need positive ways to release their emotions. Engaging in music develops concentration, memory and listening skills.

  • Singing songs repeatedly helps children learn basic speech patterns
  • Learning rhymes through songs gives children a phonological awareness that is crucial to learning to read and write
  • Singing songs widens children’s vocabulary and putting actions and dance to songs helps them recall these new words and their meaning
  • Music can stimulate new neural pathways and connections to be formed in the brain which are then used in all aspects of learning
  • Exploring music and instruments stimulates children’s creativity and curiosity

There are many benefits to starting early with songs and rhymes. Studies have shown that children who enjoy music, singing and rhyming on a regular basis tend to learn to speak more easily.

Ideas for at home

  • Make your own story sacks at home. Choose a book to base your story sack on and buy toys, teddies or objects that relate to the book. Put all objects into a sack, and when you read the story, engage the children by using the objects.
  • Make your own CD with lots of fun music. Have a dance by wiggling your body and clapping your hands!
  • Make your own song box. Use a cardboard or plastic box and decorate using wrapping paper. Fill with objects and toys that relate to songs.

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