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5 Music Activities to Bond with Your Preschooler

1. Identify Emotions Game

Sing in front of a mirror to practice what feelings look like on our faces. For example, sing “If you’re happy and you know it, show a smile,” or “If you’re silly and you know it, stick out your tongue.” Show an exaggerated expression on your face and have your child guess what the feeling is!

2. Regulate Feelings

Use drumming and rhythm to learn what big emo0ons feel like in our bodies. Chant, “This is how I drum when I feel [happy],” or, [Surprised].” Practice drumming loud and fast to represent anger. Practice drumming slow and quiet to represent 0redness. No feeling is too big for drums!

3. Practice Problem Solving

Engage your child in play with their stuffed animals. Sing “The Wheels on the Bus” and practice making room for everyone on an imaginary bus. Follow your child’s lead as they experiment with turn taking and cooperation. Remember that imaginative play is a safe space for your child to “try on” big feelings.

4. Encourage Empathy

Ask your child how they’re feeling today, then encourage them to find out how other friends or family members are feeling. Make up a song to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell. For example, “Mommy feels hungry, mommy feels hungry, hi-ho did you know, mommy feels hungry.” Encourage your child to ask their toys or stuffed animals too!

5. Build Confidence

Create a musical ritual for times when your child is processing big feelings. Rock side to side while singing Row Row Row Your Boat. Sing “Old MacDonald had a Dragon” and practice taking big belly breaths then breathing out slowly. Make your own! Use rocking, a steady beat, deep breaths, or body percussion.

Reprinted from 2022 issue of imagine, the early childhood music therapy online magazine published by de la vista publisher.


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