5 PM… We’re back from work and dinner isn’t ready… Quick! Let’s get to work to feed all those hungry mouths! As parents, there’s a good reason why our stress level increases with the oven temperature. Let’s stay zen and keep the kids busy with a fun educational activity: a musical guessing game.
In everyday life, your children are exposed to a wide range of melodies and songs. They may come from your family environment or from the school they attend. They can also come from children’s programs they watch on TV or musical mobile apps they play. While you’re busy with your pots and pans, hum some melodies or songs young children know and ask them to identify them. If they don’t find the answers right away, help them by giving them clues about the lyrics or the performer. When they find the answer, repeat the melody and the song together from the beginning. For even more fun, reverse roles and give your children the chance to have you guess (or even discover) their favourite melodies and songs.
Several research teams, including one headed by Michael S. Franklin of the Department of Psychology of the University of Michigan (2008), found that music can have a beneficial effect on verbal memory. This type of memory is necessary to retain sounds and even to remember words. In other words, stimulating verbal memory by listening to melodies and songs is a relevant way to promote children’s development. So why not make your everyday life stimulating by integrating music into your dinner menu?
Franklin, M., Moore, K., Yip, C., Jonides, J., Rattray, K. and Moher, J. (2008). The effects of musical training on verbal memory. Psychology of Music, 36, 353-365.