Chris Cate is a comedy writer, host of The ParentNormal Comedy Podcast, author of The ParentNormal Crash Course, father of three and sleeper of none.
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Introducing instruments to babies and toddlers is a great idea, but oftentimes the music in their heads can only be played on untraditional instruments.
Here are 10 examples of untraditional instruments that they use to play the "music" only they can hear:
Your face. One of a baby's first forays into music is slapping their parent's face, which is quite cute at first. But when they grow into toddlers and get stronger, you will want to direct them to something less painful for your face and your ears.
Spoons. You can throw them or you can bang them on a sippy cup. And if a toddler keeps spilling their sippy cup, they'll get a different note every time.
A snack container. Toddlers love the sound of shaking food. Snack containers also have the added benefit of drawing a quick crowd when Cheerios start flying all over the place.
The window. One of the best ways for a baby to get a deep bass sound is to bang their hand and sometimes their head on a window.
The squeaky toy. Babies and toddlers love a squeaky toy. It's like a song with a great hook. You can't get that noise out of your head once a kid starts playing it. Squeak. Squeak. Squeak...
The crib. Toddlers play the poles on their crib like a harp when they want out. They also jump on the mattress to get their song jumping.
The dryer. You might not think a baby or toddler can play a dryer. But that low tumbling sound that needs to be started every day wouldn't happen most of the time if a toddler wasn't soiling their clothes so often.
Anything glass. There's nothing that can better replicate a crash cymbal than crashing glass.
Your cell phone. A toddler can play a symphony with all of the sounds the buttons make, especially if they can get into the settings on your phone.
The diaper. Babies and toddlers can't take a step without making their diaper crunch, but it's the sounds they make inside their diapers that are truly one of a kind. It's a song for all of your senses: obviously sound, but also touch, sight and definitely smell. (I'm intentionally leaving off taste because you shouldn't even think about it.)
If some of these instruments sound more like noisemakers than music-makers, just wait until your kids start playing real instruments. Fortunately, with some positive support, you will find harmony in your home.