Babies learn best when they are emotionally involved. Who do they love the most? Their parents and caregivers of course! Did you know that when you make eye contact with your baby, the mirror neurons in their brain start firing at the same rate as yours? Once you have their attention, start with some vocal play. Keep in mind that it takes infants 7 SECONDS to respond! Now, count to 7 very slowly…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7…most of us move through life way faster than that!
A great way to start experimenting with sounds is with animal sounds. Look into your baby’s eyes and say “moo.” Point at your mouth and repeat “moo.” Point at baby’s mouth and repeat “moo.” If you have a picture of a cow, show the picture and say “moo.” Learn the sign language for COW, do the sign and repeat “moo.” Now sing Old McDonald (slowly and with intent!). Bounce your baby or tap their body on the verse, and then stop bouncing/tapping on “EIEIO” and using the sign language for COW when it comes up in the song. Pause and see if your baby reacts. Do this a few (dozen) times, signing MORE each time before you sing it again (you can sign it, or move baby’s hands to help them learn the sign.) After your baby seems to *get the pattern, sing the verse again while bouncing/tapping, then stop everything on “EIEIO” and see what happens. Most likely your baby will smile, look at you, kick their legs, or move their arms, or maybe even try to say moo or make some other vocal sounds to let you know they are learning. This process is breaking down music & language into smaller chunks that your baby can understand and process. Your baby is anticipating when you will say “moo,” when you will bounce/tap or stop. Next, try singing it totally wrong and see what your baby does! Repeat with other animals.
Watch this video from our Kindermusik@Home parent guide to learn a fun way to incorporate vocal play, music & movement with storytime.
You can go turn the Mozart back on now…just don’t have it be the ONLY music education that you and your baby get!
Our award-winning Kindermusik classes focus on early childhood development through music, and using music in your daily routines to make great parenting easier and more fun! Join us today, because a good beginning never ends!