Songs at Mealtimes
Your little one loves hearing your voice. Your calm and gentle voice is reassuring, and singing is a wonderful way to develop your bond and attachment.
Singing also reduces your baby's heart rate and anxiety and generates endorphins, which can help with discomfort.
Songs can help children develop neural connections for calming down and relaxing, which is especially crucial during the early months of life when brain pathways are developing.
Nursery rhymes are essential to help your little one understand how words are formed and to learn about different beats and rhythms.
Hearing music in early childhood supports their language development and helps them learn about rhythm and sound.
Choosing songs to sing which are slow-paced and low instead of upbeat and fast, is likely to be less distracting.
Simple songs which require actions are fantastic for them to learn how to copy you and develop their non-verbal communication skills, as well as their fine motor skills when clapping, for example.
We know that from time to time, mealtimes can get rather busy and quite loud. So, this is a perfect way to engage your little one with their food whilst you sing a song to create a more calm setting.
Always ensure that you are supervising your little one when eating to avoid choking.
How singing can make mealtimes memorable
Your little one needs to have an enjoyable experience with food to have a good and early relationship with it.
Let your little one bring their toy to sit at the table. Your little one may love to see you make their best cuddly bear move along to the song. If you want to involve their other toys, you could say, "I think bear wants to eat one of your Tomato smiles!"
Playing or singing their favourite song to your little one during mealtimes is another perfect way to make these special moments more memorable. Or, if you're feeling super creative, you could make up a song about the food they're eating. This is an excellent idea so that they can begin to:
Use cognitive skills such as critical thinking,
Make connections between the song you are singing and the food they are eating.
When they've grown up a little, you can look back at and remember together the ridiculous and funny song that you made up!
How songs can support learning through mealtimes
Songs are brilliant for your little one to enjoy; not only are they fun, but they can also be educational too. Songs often contain rhyming words which teach your baby about literacy skills that they will use as they grow up.
Engaging and singing to your baby during mealtimes can really help develop their listening skills:
As you do this, they will learn how conversation works as they sit and listen while another person speaks.
These are great skills to practise and will set them up for later in life.
Singing is an excellent technique to capture your baby's interest while they eat their food.
Some songs also include early counting, which is fantastic for introducing numbers and quantities to your little one in a fun and exciting way. For example, a few popular food-themed counting songs:
Five Currant Buns
One Potato, Two Potato
Or, your baby may love to hear silly and action songs such as:
On Top of Spaghetti
Jelly on the Plate
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