Reading a bedtime story is a unique way to spend a quiet and pleasant moment while putting your children to bed! Before the Sandman puts them to sleep, why not add some musical elements to your reading? This will stimulate their cognitive development.
When you tell children a story, you can familiarize them with concepts of sound, such as pitch. If you use a high-pitched voice to speak like a bird or a deep voice to represent a grandfather, your child’s hearing perception will develop spontaneously. Talk softly when a spy doesn’t want to be noticed or speak louder when a magician declares “abracadabra”. Then your child will realize that your voice’s intensity has different nuances!
Sometimes a child will ask for the same story several evenings in a row. Transform this moment into an educational activity. For example, choose a phrase from the story that your child especially enjoys. Instead of reading this phrase, ask your child to say it at the right time in the story, varying the pitch or intensity of his or her voice. Research by Nina Kraus’s team at Northwestern University has shown that the development of language and musical skills is closely related. Reading and having fun distinguishing sounds is an excellent way to introduce children to simple musical elements while promoting their language development. Enjoy your reading!
Kraus, N., & Chandrasekaran, B. (2010). Music training for the development of auditory skills. Nature reviews neuroscience, 11(8), 599.