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Sing to your kids to make them smarter: A little lullaby can go a long way

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 22-06-2011

Dads will do almost anything to entertain their kids. From wearing a funny hat, to smearing food all over their faces to dancing the odd jig, fathers are like one-man shows that can be hilarious at times and downright embarrassing at others. But did you know that entertaining your kids might actually improve their brain development?

Engaging in a sing-a-long with your kids will do more than stoke your rock-start fantasy. While we may not all remember our mothers singing us lullabies to help us sleep, or our fathers crooning some oldies hits in the car, recent research suggests that singing to your child can have a positive effect on his neurological health.

Sally Goddard Blythe, director of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology in England, says singing to children who aren't speaking yet can encourage good language skills in the future. "Song is a special type of speech," she states. "Lullabies, songs, and rhymes of every culture carry the 'signature' melodies and inflections of a mother tongue, preparing a child's ear, voice, and brain for language."

So crank up the radio! Even if you can't hold a tune to save your life, your baby will be gleefully benefiting from some impromptu speech lessons. Because you may be influencing your child's choice in music later on in life, pick something classy like David Bowie. Just make sure to do the singing yourself, as your child's ear is particularly tuned to you.