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Musical awakening and young children - Extra activities - Educatall

Musical awakening and young children

Musical awakening represents an interesting approach in daycares. Its advantages are numerous; it fosters the development of many aspects of childhood development. Singing and dancing are activities frequently used by early childhood educators to introduce children to music. These magical moments reflect pure pleasure, sometimes sprinkled with a little silliness. However, are they the only ways to promote musical education with young children?


Must early childhood educators have a musical background for children to benefit from music-themed activities?


Children are surrounded with all kinds of sounds. Early childhood educators should take advantage of these multiple opportunities to help children become more aware of their environment. Every moment when music or sounds are explored, even if it is through very simple activities, will lead to learning. There are many daycare moments that make introducing various musical notions possible: before a meal, before or after naptime, during a walk, during outdoor play, or a rainy day. Make noticing sounds a habit and your group will reap the benefits!


The connection between childhood development and musical awakening:

  • Children develop their sensory perception as they become aware of their environment and everything that surrounds them.
  • Musical activities foster children's cognitive development by helping them develop, for example, their attention, their ability to concentrate, their language skills, their memory, and logic.
  • Children can develop motor skills: coordination, movement dissociation, body schema recognition, and laterality.
  • Sound awareness and musical awakening help children develop their aesthetic sensitivity and their ability to express themselves.
  • Communication skills and self-confidence are improved.
  • General cultural development is made possible by raising children's awareness of local and foreign cultures.

These are but a few examples, there are many other learning opportunities associated with musical awakening.


Suggested activities:

  • While children wait for lunch to be served, tap your hands on your thighs to create certain rhythms and encourage children to reproduce them.
  • Add a little variety to singing activities by humming a well-known song, singing with a tiny "mouse" voice or a deep "papa bear" voice, replace lyrics with la, la, la, etc.
  • Use different body parts to follow the rhythm when you sing with your group (a finger, a hand, a foot, etc.). Use objects or musical instruments (store-bought or homemade) to follow along.
  • Listen to music or sing songs with slow and fast rhythms. Invite children to dance slowly when the rhythm is slow and fast when the rhythm is fast.
  • Listen to different sounds and have children try to identify the corresponding objects (doorbell, telephone, siren, etc.).
  • Let children manipulate a variety of objects and encourage them to notice the sounds they produce. Are they soft or loud sounds? Examples: sponge, ping-pong ball, tennis ball, metal can, wooden stick, etc. Present one object at a time to make it easier for little ones to associate each sound with the corresponding object.
  • Insert tiny items (pebbles, rice, pasta, feathers, cotton balls, couscous, marbles, etc.) in empty plastic bottles. Use hot glue and adhesive tape to seal the bottles. Children will love shaking the bottles to explore different sounds.
  • Add sounds to story time. Use musical instruments to replace certain words. Depending on the ages of the children in your group, you can use the instruments yourself, ask children to manipulate the instruments or increase the number of instruments. For example, you could ask one child to shake maracas every time you say the word "friend" while another child taps a drum every time he hears the word "bear".

Music is associated with happiness. These few suggestions represent ways to explore music and have fun with your group while providing them with learning opportunities. I encourage you to use music during specific activities. Avoid playing background music since children will not pay attention to it and therefore not reap its incredible benefits.


Have fun!


Sonia Leclerc
Early childhood educator


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