Here are some musical activities to keep in your tool bag to pull when you see the crankys setting in with your children. (and yourself!)
1. Have some plastic food storage containers, big plastic or wooden spoons, plastic ice trays… handy in your kitchen for the children to play on while you sing or listen to music in the kitchen.
2. Put them on your lap and bounce and sway while you sing songs like “Pop, Goes the Weasel”, “The Wheels on the Bus”… Don’t know all the words? Sing what you know and sing “la” or “doo” on the rest. Children can sing along to songs better if there aren’t a lot of words, or if the song is song on vocables. (la, la)
3. While changing their diapers, sing songs with finger movements like “Eency Weency Spider” or any song that has funny vocal sounds that will catch their attention.
4. Bring a bag of musical instruments such as shaky eggs and small drums in the car and sing either with a CD or without. The more you sing with enthusiasm and silliness, the more they will enjoy joining in the fun.
5. For cleaning up toys, sing an energetic song and have them freeze when you stop singing. This could also be done with a CD.
6. For getting dressed, brushing teeth, getting in the car seat.. make up songs with words about the activity. A song that works well is “Here we go round the Mulberry Bush”. You could sing- “this is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth, brush our teeth, this is the way we brush our teeth so early in the morning”
7. Get out some scarves and dance around the room.
8. Calm a fussy child by, first calming your own energies, holding them on your lap, swaying slowly back and forth and singing a song slowly and softly. It doesn’t have to be a lullaby. Any song can work.
The important factor in all of these activities is that you are involved. If you participate with joy and enthusiasm, your child will respond and a challenging situation can turn into a harmonious situation. Remember that it really doesn’t make a difference to your child if you sing on key or have a beautiful voice. Your voice is their favorite voice and making music with you will create memories that they will value for the rest of their lives.
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