06 Nov Encouraging self-expression in your infant!
by Debbie Mynhardt
Self-expression for 0–2 years:
You are never too old or too young to enjoy music! You might think your baby is too young, but you can actually help to teach them to express themselves through music and movement. By combining the two, you can help soothe or excite your bundle of joy. Rocking your baby to a lullaby or bouncing them to a simple rhyme can help them to start understanding the link between feelings and music and movement.
Your little one will also learn to express themselves by copying sounds and facial expressions, most likely yours! You can also expect your baby to use lots of imitation to understand how and why an expression or sound is made. And this is just the beginning – your bundle of joy will be exploring new sounds and behaviour for years to come.
Your baby’s second year is a great time for the two of you to enjoy the rhythm and beats of music. You’ll have fun watching your child start moving to the beat and clapping in time with the music. This year you’ll probably see them starting to really enjoy the melody and rhythm of music. Dance around the room with your toddler and tell them about what they’re hearing. Is it fast or slow? What instruments are played? Is it a happy or sad song? Mixing this into your routine will help your little one see music as a form of expression. And if you want to add some drama, bring in a few props to play with, like scarves, ribbons, and anything that makes a noise. That will really thrill them!
On the art and drawing front, you may notice that your toddler’s cute little scribbles are starting to become more controlled and colourful, and by the end of the year, they’ll probably be able to draw a closed circle.