By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris
This week, the Fred Rogers Center shared an article from Zero to Three about the power of music for infants and toddlers. It ties music to key early development skills: physical, thinking, language, and literacy skills.
As a librarian, I know the value of music; that’s why so much of our storytimes are music based. But this article highlighted how instrumental music is to all learning. It also includes wonderful activity ideas for many ages and stages.
Want some ideas on how to enjoy music together? Check out lots of fun videos and activities below!
Watch these videos
Jenny (and I, honestly!) love to narrate our days through song. Here, Jenny demonstrates a few of the songs she sang with the dog she was fostering. My mother and I adapt songs we know and sing them to each other, to our dog Bingo, and to my brother Josh. It’s part of our day to day routine! And it’s fun.
In our first Early Bird Readers video, Jenny and I shared ways to personalize songs and to use music to increase listening and movement skills.
Here are some further fun resources you can use to include music in your days:
- Library assistant Eileen used her music background to create a whole music class for kids 4-10 years old. It includes lessons on beat, rhythm, notes, and more.
- We librarians love Maybe Something Beautiful, a gorgeous picture book by F. Isabel Campoy. It’s available in English and Spanish; as an ebook, audiobook, and movie on Hoopla; and as an ebook on Media on Demand/Libby. And now the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has set it to music! Enjoy the performance and try the many activities in their prep guide (pdf).
- Another episode of CSOtv for Kids focuses on mindful breathing and music, another important skill.
- Laurie Berkner has wonderfully interactive songs that we love in storytime. Try out We Are the Dinosaurs, I Know a Chicken, and This is How I Do It.
- Most librarians you know have Jbrary bookmarked! Somehow they know all the songs and have written a few of their own. Look for your storytime favorites in their archive! They also have songs for actions and transitions like diaper time.
- Use your Oak Park Public Library card to borrow music on Hoopla! All music has benefits, so play your favorite tunes to sing and dance with your children, whether that’s with Taylor Swift, Elton John, or DMX.
Shelley is a children’s librarian with a passion for early literacy, serving and celebrating the disability community, and exploring technology. She can often be found practicing storytime songs with her black lab, Bingo.