Sound: an unsung hero in child development
When it comes to child development, many people think of language or motor skills. But sound is critically important to the way children learn about their world.
Speaking on the Feed Play Love podcast produced by Babyology, Parenting Research Centre and raisingchildren.net.au Senior Specialist Dr Naomi Hackworth says sound is a wonderful way to promote back-and-forth interactions between parents and children. These interactions are what lay the foundations for future development.
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“Parent-child interactions start from birth,” Dr Hackworth says.
“So what’s happening is that children’s brains are being activated in lots of different areas and you’re getting connections laid down. And those connections start to build the structures that create the foundations for development.
Broader than music
“Music is a really big part of children’s lives and a really rich source of sound. We often think about music when we think about sounds and development but actually it’s much broader than that.”
Children are surrounded by all sorts of sounds – from the noises they make themselves with their voices and bodies, to the voices of their parents and other sounds in their environment, Dr Hackworth says. They can learn about soft and hard by banging a toy on different types of surface. Also, they can feel safe and secure when their parents respond to the sounds they are making.
When they experiment with sound, children are hearing but also feeling rhythm, learning about movement and connecting with emotion. This is why sound is also important for children with a hearing disability. They can benefit greatly from components of sound other than the auditory.
- Visit raisingchildren.net.au for more information on sound and great sound play ideas.