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add music to playtimeThink for a moment about how often you experience music on a daily basis. You hear it on TV, in the car, in restaurants, and at the gym. You may even listen to music all day at work. Music is a big part of our lives. It evokes emotion and even changes how we feel, so it’s important that we introduce it to our children. Here are some ways you can introduce music into your baby’s playtime.

1. Use music to speed things up.

When it’s time to play, put on some lively music that makes you and your baby want to move around. Ideally you should do this in the morning when your baby is most active. This will help your little one burn off all her energy before nap time and get some exercise. Play some energetic rock & roll, jazz, or even something nontraditional like ragtime or bluegrass. Also, catching your baby dancing makes for the cutest videos!

2. Use music to slow things down.

As you come to the end of play time and soon it will be time to take a nap, eat, or go out, you’ll want to put on some music that calms everyone down. Classical music is often best for this, but you can find slower pieces in any genre. Harp music is perfect for sleepy time because it’s soothing and gentle.

3. Dance with your baby!

Children take their cues from their care-givers, so don’t be shy about dancing! Crank up the volume and shake your booty. If your little one can’t walk yet, hold her in your arms while you twirl around. If she can stand up, hold her by her hands and show her how to dance. Make sure you have a smile on your face so she understands it’s a good time.

4. Opt for music over the TV.

We have a tendency to leave the TV running during playtime. It makes for decent background noise and it’s something for mom or dad to watch while the little one runs around. TV, however, is easy entertainment and not as developmentally beneficial as imaginative play. You can help your little one focus on her play by turning off the tube and turning on music.

5. Play musical games.

Traditional baby games like “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Wheels on the Bus” are favorites for a reason. They introduce kids to rhythm, motion, and cadence in a fun way. Explore some other musical games like the “Hokey Pokey,” “Trot, Trot to Boston,” or “Two Little Blackbirds.” Even when you aren’t singing children’s songs, encourage your kids to clap or stomp to the beat.

6. Add children’s instruments to your playroom.

Very young children can use basic rattles, drums and bells. Around three years old, children understand how to use a piano, xylophone, or basic wind instruments (whistle, kazoo, recorder, etc.). Formal instruction isn’t necessary and I wouldn’t push the violin on them, but throw some children’s instruments in the playroom so they can experiment with sound.

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As a mother, Jennifer understands the importance of offering nothing by the best for baby. Motivated by teeth marks on her children’s cribs, she decided to design a teething rail cover after trying products that didn’t measure up when it came to quality or style. What she found out made her even more concerned about children’s safety and health: The toxic chemicals used in the production of synthetic materials have been linked to birth defects, reproductive disorders, and weakened immune systems.

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