A child's musical affinity is something that numerous institutions have studied the effect that music has on learning, including the University of Washington, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California at Irvine. Because of this, it's no surprise that companies that cater to children are offering an increase in musical toys that focus in this area. The findings support that learning toys focusing on music actually benefit children of all ages.
What We Know:
The studies that have been done on music and learning raise several interesting points. First, hearing is one of the first senses that becomes fully active after a baby is born. Not only is the hearing centre optimized, but children are developing brain paths at an exponential rate. These are focusing on essential areas of cognitive ability, including speech, spatial relations, emotions and more. When you stop and think about it, music really taps into a variety of these areas in a comprehensive way. In addition, physical characteristics are known to be influenced by early exposure to music, especially when learning an instrument. Fingers that are regularly active playing music have more nerve activity.
While giving your child access to interactive toys may not seem like something that would have an effect on society as a whole, you might be surprised to find that researchers disagree. In fact, according to a German scientist, Dr. Gunther Bastian, music has a positive socializing effect. This music lover believes that exposing more children to positive musical influences has the ability to reduce violence and create healthier social connections.
Making the Connection:
As parents, it's not hard to look at the facts and realize that music is good for your kids. However, not everyone is musically talented themselves. In addition, it's not always recommended to begin regimented music lessons when a child is still quite young. While the brain may be able to handle the routine, it may be too much pressure for children before they are school-aged. However, like most things, there is no reason not to play with music, getting much of the same results. Musical toys should be a part of every preschool toy chest. Playing with music is fun for kids. In addition, the approach of using learning toys takes much of the pressure off parents during these younger years. There are many interactive toys that feature tone and rhythm, as well as those that actually allow a young child to create their own musical combinations.
Playing with music does not have to be expensive. In fact, a creative parent can provide the cognitive benefit and foster musical talent in almost any situation. Sounds surrounds us, so the best approach is to always be aware and help bring that awareness to your child. Have you ever seen a commercial where the creators compose a symphony with street sounds? Take a small recording device with you and capture the sounds that get your child's attention. Let them assist you in arranging the noises in a musical way. This same project can be done with rhythm quite easily. Coupling this with musical toys will optimize her brain for musical expression, fostering early awareness and increasing intelligence and cognitive growth for years to come.
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