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There are two things you can be doing with your toddler now that could give your child a leg up when it comes time for them to start kindergarten. This is according to an impressive longitudinal study that tracked more than 3,000 children across Australia over the course of several years. The two things? Shared reading experiences and shared musical experiences. That’s right. It seems that 2- to 3-year-olds who enjoyed these purposeful interactions turned into 4- and 5-year-olds with more prosocial skills, better emotional regulation, and an increased ability to understand and work with numbers.
The idea that a shared reading experience (i.e. reading a book aloud in a way that engages and involves your child) is beneficial should come as no surprise. There’s been a lot written about how these interactions build early literacy and social-emotional skills. As you giggle together, wonder together, talk about the pictures and words in a book together, your child learns, but the two of you also bond.
Less attention has been paid, however, to the value of shared home music experiences; dancing with your child, humming and rocking together, singing along with your favorite recording—all of these have benefits beyond just being fun. And fun they certainly are. When you stop to think about it, don’t many of your fondest memories from childhood involve music?
The fun of Kindermusik and shared musical experiences between you and your child is what is happening in the foreground. It’s why your child loves coming to class each week. It’s why they are disappointed when they ask if it’s a music day and you reply that it isn’t. But in the background of all that fun and bonding is an incredible abundance of optimal development for your child’s brain and body. It’s the WHY we do what we do. Tangible long-term benefits hidden between the bars of our songs and movement activities.
It’s also WHY we provide to you the Kindermusik Online Parent Guides. These are tools for YOU, the adult, to supplement the Kindermusik classroom experience at home. When your little one is disappointed they can’t go to music class, you are prepared with streaming class music, a simple printable or craft that coordinates with the current curriculum, or a short video to spur connection and exploration. These nuggets of fun bring the benefits of shared musical experience into your home, on demand, when you and your child need a moment of connection.
Just log into my.kindermusik.com to access the Kindermusik Online Parent Guide for your current or any of your past curriculum.
Thank you for letting us be a part of your child’s development!
-partial repost from Kindermusik International