News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

It is not Pandora’s Box but Pandora’s Music for Children

Photos by Sean Telles

by Sean Telles/FIRST 5 Mendocino

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San Gabriel Valley

Studies on music and brain development suggest that early exposure to music increases a child’s language development and math skills, and increases memory function.  Additionally, research has shown that children who are able to distinguish different sounds are more likely to develop stronger literacy skills over time.

First 5 California’s free online music station from Pandora makes it easier than ever to integrate the power and fun of music into the lives of children to improve development.  The station features songs geared at early learning and play to encourage physical activity and brain development.

Here are some tips from First 5 California to increase and appreciate your child’s development taking place through listening to music at

Singing and listening to music is a great way for toddlers to develop language and learning skills.

• Rhyming songs help your child hear different sounds and develop stronger literacy skills. The song “I’m a Little Teapot” is a great example as “stout,” “spout,” “shout” and “out” all rhyme.

• Studies show music helps kids’ memory, such as the order of letters in the alphabet, because songs tap into systems in our brains that are sensitive to melody and beat.

• Sing counting songs, like “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe,” “This Old Man” or “Five Little Monkeys.” The repetition in these types of songs makes it easier for young children to remember a number sequence.

• Music also offers a fun way to learn early math concepts, like patterns and classification.

• Choose songs that have a repetitive rhythm or lyrics to help your child anticipate patterns. “Pop Goes the Weasel” and “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” are great for this.

• Let your child listen to the same song repeatedly.  While you may be tired of hearing a favorite song over and over, repetition helps kids learn new words and meanings.

Making music doesn’t have to be expensive.  Use household items for hours of fun.

• Empty pots and bowls, wooden spoons and spatulas are a few examples.

• You can also make instruments with your child. Fill up several glasses of water to different levels and tap on each glass with a spoon for a xylophone effect.

• Or fill up an empty water bottle with some rice or dried beans for a shaker.  A cereal box can also be given new life as a drum, using unsharpened pencils as drumsticks.

Sean Telles is an AmeriCorps VISTA serving with FIRST 5 Mendocino as a Social Entrepreneur. He likes to move it move it. You can email him for comments or suggestions at The majority of these tips were taken from First 5 California.

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News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.
It is not Pandora’s Box but Pandora’s Music for Children