The magic of music
Listening to rhythmic clapping or drum beats is a good beginning in helping toddlers recognize one-to-one correspondence and patterns. One hit on a drum makes one sound, two hits make two sounds. These early skills provide the foundation for learning how to count and identifying geometric and numerical patterns. Your child has already begun to recognize the patterns in speech. Music with lyrics can further your child's understanding of communication and how words are used as language building blocks. The patterns in music can also help with coordination (moving in rhythm), and music allows your child to express him/herself creatively through creating sound and dancing to the beat! Create a beat with your child using a variety of "instruments" around your house. Model the sounds you can make by shaking maracas or any container that's the right size for little hands with beans, rice or other small objects safely sealed inside. Create percussion instruments by banging a spoon on a pot or the lid of a sealed plastic container for a different type of sound. You can also encourage your child to respond to the mood of other music, clapping his hands and moving his body to happy music, or using soothing lullabies to signal naptime.