Songs and Rhymes
Lullaby's have been used to help get children to sleep for a long time. I might even be that lullaby's were used when men and women first learnt to speak.
Make a sleep rhyme or lullaby part of the routine for your little one as the final event before they go to sleep. They will love to hear your comforting, gentle voice repeating something familiar.
Music and Movement
Put on some music and dance with your baby. Encourage them to gently move in rhythm with the music.
When you are doing things around the house, put on the radio. Move and sing along with the music - your baby will enjoy watching you. Pick them up and move together if you can. You will soon know which songs are their favourites.
Children love these and I think that is because they can be noisy. Rhythm games will help develop motor, memory and listening skills.
With a little drum, or by clapping, get your child to copy a simple rhythm pattern that you create. Make it happen like a conversation - first one sounding the rhythm, then the other copying it, back and forth. Change the rhythm every now and then, and see if your child can copy the new pattern. Swap roles and let your child create a new rhythm pattern that you can copy.
And don't forget, you can make drums out of materials that you find around the house - wooden spoons, tins, cardboard boxes. You can muffle the improvised drum sticks by wrapping them in a duster if you want to protect your ears!
Songs and Rhymes can also help older children with their learning. Songs and rhymes are not just fun for little ones.