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Toddler - Week #63

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Week 63: Sing with Me!

By Meg Leonard, edHelperBaby

           Your 63-week-old's communication skills continue to thrive as the weeks progress. She may speak three to five words, but she understands many more. Once she learns a new word, you may find her looking for opportunities to use it. For example, when she learns the word "no," you may find her using it often, even when she might not really mean it. You can help build her vocabulary through singing simple songs or reciting simple rhymes.


Repetition is Key
           Toddlers like repetition and it helps them learn. A normal functioning adult needs fifteen exposures to a new idea in order to commit it to their short term memory, and thirty-five exposures to place it in their long term memory. Your baby will need many exposures to new words, songs, and activities in order to remember them. There are many ways to repeat new information to your baby. To make learning fun, you can teach your baby simple repetitive songs or rhymes.


           Choose a song with repetition, such as Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Sing it to your baby throughout the course of a week. Note his reaction to the song. Encourage him to join you while you sing the song in any way that he is able. If he is not very verbal yet, he may sway to the music. If he is able to say a few words, encourage him to repeat some of the words in the song. You may even want to demonstrate how he can use his voice to sing. If singing isn't your thing, you can say the words of the song instead. You could also find a recording of the song and sing along with that.


A New Twist on a Classic
    Book: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Iza Trapani
       This beautifully illustrated book takes the classic song and expands it into a story. It begins with the original text of the song. The book takes a unique turn as the story moves to take a young girl on a journey through the stars. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star is a wonderful way to expose your baby to another version of the song. It is a perfect book for bedtime, as it reassures the listener that the star will provide a watchful eye over the child each night.


Real Life with Baby
           Mary and I both enjoyed this week's activity. She loved listening to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and would often ask me to sing it over again. I have been singing to Mary since we brought her home from the hospital. I had sung Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star to her a few times, but never as often as I did this past week. Mary's face lit up whenever she heard the tune.

       We sang in the car, in the bathtub, while playing, and before bed. Mary never chimed in with any of the words, but she did try and sing along with me. Her singing was actually just babbling at the same time that I was singing. First I sang the song alone. When she asked me to sing it again, I asked her to sing with me. She babbled along at the same time. I asked her to sing with me a third time and she babbled in the same way. At this point, I wondered if she was actually trying to sing with me. On the fourth time, I didn't ask her to sing and she was quiet. I'm not sure at what point she would be able to try and carry a tune, but it was neat to have her try to sing along with me!

       Interestingly, Mary liked the story book, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, better when I sang the words. I started singing for the first few pages, and then my voice got tired. I switched to just reading the lines and Mary tried to shut the book, her usual signal that she is finished with a particular story. I started singing again and then she wanted to listen to the entire thing. She became very attached to this song during the week.


Music is Good for Your Soul
           Maybe it has been a while since you were exposed to any new music yourself. It is easy to get caught in a musical rut and listen to the same familiar songs over and over. This week, give your ears a treat and try some new music. You may want to try out a new band or style of music. Maybe your favorite group has new music available and you have been too busy to check it out. Reward yourself with the chance to experience something new. You can browse the music selection at your local library, download a track from one of the various websites that sell songs, or buy a new CD at your local music store. Music has a way of revitalizing our souls. Take care of yourself this week!


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