Saturday, April 23, 2016

Music for Babies: Merrily We Roll the Ball

"Do you play ball with her?" my mom asked me when my second child was 9 months. 

"Um, we explore and play with them but we don't like sit on the floor and roll it to each other yet.  I don't think she can yet."

"Well, she'll learn.  You just need to practice with her.  When you were her age I would come home from teaching and we would play ball."  

"I know, but she may not be at that developmental milestone yet." I told her as she sat down across from Adelyn to roll the ball back and forth with her. 

Well, she couldn't do it yet, but she sure did love it. And I realized after a while that she was trying to roll it.  It looked like a little jerk of her hand and foot.  Well, who knew? Obviously, not me and obviously I didn't spend much of my time as a music therapist working on motor skills with babies. 

So after that I played a lot of "ball" with Adelyn.  Of course, she loved it. How many babies do I know that were in love with rolling objects by the time they turned one?  My three year old son loved watching and trying it with her too. 

Here is a video of my third child practicing to roll a ball with me.  He is just about 8 months.  As most babies do, he also loves to play ball!  Here I used the tune of London Bridge and made a spin off of the song, Merrily we Roll Along (same tune as Mary Had a Little Lamb), changing the words to Merrily We Roll the Ball. In this version, the time that each of you receive the ball has a slightly different melody than the time that you roll it. 

If you are looking for fun songs and music activities to do with your baby (or toddler), this may be one you both enjoy and a great way to teach other children to play with the younger ones. This activity can benefit gross motor skills, eye contact, turn taking, impulse control, object identification, names of people, and also of course, provides another opportunity for quality time where all participants are interacting together.

Happy rolling along!