Making music has more benefits than simply listening to music or watching someone play an instrument. It helps build gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Toddlers also learn about movement, balance, hearing, and touch as they begin to understand the cause and effect of each instrument. Do you want your child to reap these benefits and develop the skills to make music? Get them interested by introducing percussion instruments (those that are bang, clang, shake, hit, tapped, slapped, or scratched) that are simple and fun for their little hands.
Maracas: A little wooden ball on a handle with beans or seeds inside which produces a rattle and swoosh. If you want to model the technique to your child, think of it like you are hitting invisible drums by snapping the maracas forward and back. You will start to get a feel for how the sound is produced and attempt some rhythmic patterns.
Tambourine: The tambourine is immediate and loud and it is all that matters for a toddler.
Xylophone: The xylophone is great for introducing children to the concepts of tonal relationships and the function of the musical scale.
Rhythm sticks: Two sticks, struck against each other to produce a wooden tock sound.
The best musical instruments for toddlers are not limited to the above. These are just a few and what is important is to choose an instrument that offers interaction and interactivity. There are four playtime roles to adopt when your child is playing with a musical toy.
The observer: Begin with this role. Give an instrument to your child and step back to simply observe. You may comment or encourage but let your child conduct the session.
Stage crew: Provide props, guidance, and suggestions. Create a narration and let your child experiment and explore.
Supporting actor: Join in the play with your child. Build the scene but follow the lead of your child. What instrument does he or she want you to play?
Actor-Director: When you have played the previous three roles, you can step out front and center. You can play the lead actor while also direct the little show.
At Choo Choo Train, children get to explore musical instruments from infancy. They are given musical toys in a structured playtime as soon as their hands are strong enough to hold one. We believe that when children are able to appreciate arts and music, this can contribute to their healthy emotional intelligence or EQ as they learn to see things differently and appreciate things that are often not seen at face value.