PIE Universe > Parent Tools > Tips

Tip of the Week

bullet Shhh!  Listening may seem like it's an easy thing, but to do it well, you really have to pay attention.  Help your child build their active and powerful listening skills by regularly exposing them to music and oral storytelling.  Afterward, ask them questions about story details, the sequence of events, and their favorite parts.

 

More Tips and Ideas

  • Get up and move!  Moving to music, even before walking or talking, is one of the earliest ways children learn to love and understand music.  Feeling and imitating rhythms help kids make physical and mental connections to music.  So jump, skip, bounce, clap, snap and wiggle around - it's good for little hearts and minds!

  • That's a great idea!  Allow your child many opportunities for input and ownership in activities.  They become more enthusiastic when it's their own idea in play.  For example, have your child make up their own verses to a song, or substitute a favorite word in specific places in a song.

  • What's next?  Remember that the attention span of a 4-6 year old is limited.  Vary the activities you do with any given song.  For example:  One day children might hum to the tune, and another day they might clap along.  Also, remember that your child may wish to choose a new favorite song from time to time.

  • Sing what I sing!  Try singing a short melody and have your child sign it back.  This game is wonderful for a child's musical memory.

  • Music is everywhere.  See if you can find the rhythms and melodies in the world around you.  A bird singing, constant hammering, or a dog barking are all good examples.

  • Play music everywhere!  Children are constantly learning from their surroundings.  The more music a child is introduced to at a young age, the more comfortable they will be with it when they are older.

  • Create a bedtime ritual.  Play music for your child before bedtime; it will help them wind down.

  • Sing what I sing!  Try singing a short melody and have your child sing it back.  This game is wonderful for a child's musical memory.

  • What's that?  Try to pick out the different instruments in a song.  See how many you and your child can count and name.

  • Make clean-up fun!  Play a fast or upbeat song.  Challenge your child to see how many toys they can pick up and put away before the end of the song.

  • The love for music is contagious!  Share your favorite songs with your child.

  • Dance with your child!  Dancing helps connect muscle memory to rhythm.

  • Be a drummer! You and your child can make a whole drum set of pots, pans, or other household items. It might be loud, but itís excellent practice for learning rhythm. Try playing along with a favorite song!

  • Play. Listen. Repeat. If your child has a favorite recording, let them play it over and over again. They are memorizing and learning every time they hear it.


  • Take care of little ears. If you take your children to hear live music (which we encourage!), be sure to bring along childrenís earplugs just in case the music is too loud. A young childís ears are much more sensitive than those of older children and adults.