When children are infants, parents and caregivers take a great deal of time and effort to make sure that learning is fun. Ideally, a child’s early development should include sight, sound, movement, smell, taste, touch and audio cues that stimulate their senses and cognition.
When children get older, less emphasis is often placed on sensory learning. Other priorities and benchmarks in the child’s development take over, and unless parents and caregivers are creatively inclined, enriched sensory activities tend to taper off. When they grow up and begin talking and engaging in other types of fun, the therapeutic and cognitive value of music can sometimes fall by the wayside for the average child.
Just as the mobile above a baby’s crib inspires laughter, an instrument in the hands of a happy toddler creates noise and excitement. And just as your favorite song on the radio inspires a smile, music remains an important lifelong need for creative, social, and cognitive development, no matter how old we are.
Whether you are designing a new playground, or if you are looking for a way to expand and augment your current recreational equipment, consider adding an independent play structures that encourage musical exploration.
A Child’s Brain on Music
A study by the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto, Canada concluded that there is a tremendous cognitive benefit for children who engage in music instruction and lessons. Children who are enabled to be creative in music see the benefit in other academic areas. In other studies it was shown that exposure to music regularly helped children develop better focus.
While music lessons might not be accessible for every child, some of the benefit can be realized by routinely adding musical activities and play for kids. In fact, some studies have demonstrated that unstructured musical activities (free play) produce far great benefits and enjoyment for children.
Ideas for musical activities for children that you can provide:
- Try a variety of instruments and learn about the unique sounds each instrument creates.
- Experiment with different sounds to create their own songs.
- Coordinate with other children to combine sounds harmoniously (or inharmoniously).
- Encourage them to identify different rhythms and beats in the music they produce.
- Moving/Dancing to the sounds of music that they hear interpretively in free play.
Commercial Quality Musical Playground Equipment
At American Parks Company we help organizations build new playgrounds or develop their current playgrounds by adding new learning and creative experiences with play structures or other equipment. Municipalities, schools, daycares, and other organizations coast-to-coast often ask about incorporating musical activities to their playground.
When you think of musical instruments, it can be a little hard to find anything that is suitable and durable enough to withstand outdoor use. That’s why we have a number of playground equipment options available, including the “Marching Band,” or smaller independent play musical structures like the “Rockin’ Drums”. Call our playground experts at 1-800-381-4491 to learn more about thes fun musical options.