Toddlers love to engage their sense of hearing because of their natural curiosity for discovering the fascinating sounds that exist in the world. This natural curiosity for sound improves and increases auditory development in your toddler. You can encourage auditory development by providing your toddler with age-appropriate musical instruments. Just think, all of that banging and clanging can make your toddler smarter!
Music’s Effect on the Toddler Brain
Exposing younger children to music helps improve cognitive functioning in many areas, including the areas of mathematical reasoning, linguistic development and coordination, according to Early Children Research and Practice. These effects seem to reach to all areas of toddler development, but can especially help improve auditory development. Does your child have a speech delay or seem to have trouble with auditory processing? Give him a few musical toys to play with to help stimulate his brain.
Varied Musical Exposure
Musical exposure does not need to come only from the radio. Let your toddler play musical instruments herself or take her to see professional musicians playing in public. Although musical instruments might become too cumbersome for a young child, you can find many age-appropriate musical toys at any music or educational store. These musical toys include maracas, triangles, rattles, simple drums, blocks and simple stringed lap harps. Once your toddler gets a feel for playing musical toys, she will enjoy seeing a professional musician playing a full-sized harp or drums.
Making Music Natural
Toddlers will not seem drawn to music if you do not make music accessible to them daily. Create an environment that makes musical exposure natural. For example, leave musical toys around the living room for your child to pick up and play whenever she wants to. Play classical, folk or jazz music softly in the background while your child plays with her toys. These simple techniques enable your toddler to feel music within her as she grows, and helps to solidify the desire for order and balance in her brain.
Musical exposure not only helps improve auditory development in the toddler years, but also increases the likelihood that your child will go on to play a musical instrument. Giving your child musical toys becomes a stepping stone for later musical interest. When you give your toddler the gift of music, it lasts for a lifetime.