When your children are young, it’s a great time to think about creating an identity as a family.
So here’s what we have come up with:
1. Sing Together
Throughout time, in different cultures around the world, singing has been a significant feature in the lives of families. This has declined in the past few decades with the introduction of recorded music.
Let’s keep singing alive!!
Find opportunities to sing together; in the car, walking to the park, getting dressed, having a bath. Whether it be songs from your childhood (or indeed adulthood), songs from music class or songs you’ve made up on the spot using familiar tunes (think Skip to my Lou, Here we go round the Mulberry Bush or even Waltzing Matilda!), make singing part of your everyday life.
2. Dance Together
Whether it be spontaneously dancing around the kitchen together to tunes on the radio, establishing a nightly routine of having a boogie after dinner, or even a weekly ‘family disco’ with a play list built up of everyone’s favourites make dance a part of your lives. Dancing (like singing and making music), builds up the body’s natural endorphins (which are the feel good hormones).
3. Share a Lullaby Time
There is nothing better for a baby/child than hearing the soft, soothing tone of a loved one singing to him before bedtime. Establish this as part of your bedtime routine. Build up a repertoire of favourite lullabies or take any song, slow it right down, sing it softly and hey presto it becomes a lullaby.
4. Have a Family Jam
Build up that family music basket with a mix of home made and shop bought instruments e.g. drums, shakers, rhythm sticks, kazoos. You might also like to bring out a collection of ‘kitchen instruments’ to clang, tap, shake and scrape from the kitchen. Play along to your favourite backing track or sing as you play.
5. Get out that Rusty Old Trumpet
Have you heard the phrase, if you want a child to be a reader then read yourself? The same can be said about music. You don’t have to be the greatest musician in the world, simply by having a go you will stimulate your child’s interest. If you’ve never played an instrument, it’s never too late to learn. There are plenty of simple tutorials online these days. Alternatively grab a couple of spoons from the kitchen drawer and see what cool sounds you can create.
6. Build up your Record Collection
If you are passionate about music, your children are more likely to be too. Expose them to music you enjoyed as you grew up and music that you’ve collected along the way. Seek out new and interesting music as well as old classics. Expose children to a variety of genres e.g. Folk, world, jazz, classical, pop, country, rock, blues, swing…… but most importantly the music you love as they will sense that passion.
[Images: pixabay.com and alldayfritz.com ]