Music is everywhere! In fact, babies start taking in sounds and rhythms at about the same time they do with language itself. Toddlers love to move around or sway when they hear a song and preschoolers will often sing or make up songs as they play.
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As parents, we may not even notice how often we use music to engage our little ones! Singing and humming to calm them down or show affection becomes second nature to even the most non-musical among us.
Before babies say their first words, they’ll start to express themselves through sounds and movement. So it only makes sense that this would be an effective way for them to learn, as well. And when it comes to early childhood development, this means that there are many benefits of music for babies and toddlers that’ll give them a head start with second-language learning.
Using music in early education is fun for kids, but that’s not the only benefit! A 2016 study carried out by the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute suggests that experiences with music in a child’s first few years can actually speed up brain development. Specifically, learning and listening to music was found to be helpful for boosting reading and language skills - skills that are certainly a plus when it comes to language learning at a young age.
What’s more, incorporating music in early childhood gives kids a great foundation as they enter the social world. Beyond academic advantages, the benefits of music for babies and toddlers include social-emotional development, memory skills, and motor skills. So, when the time comes to step out onto the playground, those young musical minds will be far better equipped to learn new games and socialize with friends!
In the human brain, the temporal lobe is our language-learning center —the very same area that processes music when we hear it.
This means that for both first- and second-language learners, early exposure to music can make things a little easier. For example, infants learn to recognize the musical aspects of a language before they can even process specific words. So having a good ear for music is sure to help them learn a language! But of course, listening is just one part of language learning.
Another important element is reading and writing. And when it comes to these skills, music is more useful than we even realize!
Listening to music helps us recognize the individual sounds that make up words and then associate them with written symbols. This ability is even more enhanced when we listen to the different notes, pitches, and rhythms in music. So, listening to songs with your kids in the early years is a wonderful way to get their cognitive gears turning!
Our ABC Chant is a great song to help kids learn their alphabet ! Sing and dance along all together, and enjoy the catchy lyrics which will have your kids reciting their ABCs in no time.
The benefits of music for babies and toddlers continue to show as your little ones begin speaking.
Songs with lyrics are an easy way to get them repeating words and sounds in an exciting and motivating way. As they listen, learn, and sing along, kids will learn new vocabulary and familiarize themselves with the rhythm of the language without even realizing they’re learning.
With a wide selection of catchy Lingokids songs, your little ones will want to listen, sing, and dance over and over. And little by little, they’ll start to recognize words and lyrics, which will help them develop the building blocks of their second-language vocabulary. So by tuning into our songs and chants for kids—available on the Lingokids app, YouTube, and Spotify — your kids will be saying complete English sentences in no time.
And don’t forget to jam out while you’re listening! Like all of us, toddlers and young children love to dance and move to music.
Using gestures and movement in language teaching is another way for kids to remember more of the new words they’re being exposed to. If you’re looking for some inspiration, this list of Lingokids songs to start up your dance party will get the kids on their feet and on track for second-language success !