Local children’s music group is helping produce happier, more content, better developed children – its official!
Chrissie Rolls, owner of Musical Minis Swindon and North Wiltshire, has welcomed a report that says children who take part in activities such as singing nursery rhymes, are likely to be happier more content children, with better developed social, motor and speech skills, than their TV watching counterparts.
The report entitled ‘Happiness and Development in Very Young Children’ by Oxford University and the Open University, states that toddlers who spend a lot of time watching TV or looking at picture books are less likely to be happy than those who take part in activities like singing nursery rhymes with their parent or carer. Television was actually found to have a negative effect on a child’s happiness.
Economics experts analysed data on more than 800 two and three year olds; their mothers were asked about the youngsters’ happiness and the development of their speech, movement and social skills and what activities they had done in the preceding two weeks.
The study found that those who took part in ‘active play’ developed better skills and were more content; for example, painting or arts and crafts led to improved motor skills, while reading, telling stories and singing boosted their speech.
Children who often took part in active pursuits with their parents were also happier.
Dr Laurence Roope, of the Health Economics Research Centre at Oxford University said, "Of course parents can’t engage their young children in these activities every hour of the day, but it is encouraging that time spent reading books to them, painting or joining in with a nursery rhyme could help their development."
Interestingly, co-author of the report Paul Annand, professor of economics at the Open University said, "An economic study of very young children is relatively novel, but if our findings are replicated in other research, they could have significant implications for parenting education. It could, for example, allow us to reassess the role of arts in the development of skills and human potential."
Chrissie says, "The Musical Minis programme, developed by founder and child psychologist Karen Sherr nearly 25 years ago, has always been based around the knowledge that singing nursery rhymes and songs with a parent or carer helps a child’s social skills and their speech and motor skills development.
"My teachers and I see first-hand the improvements made by the babies and toddlers who attend the classes we run across Swindon and North Wiltshire every week, so this isn’t news to us, but it is great to have it confirmed by such a prestigious study.
"We currently run classes in Haydon Wick and would love to see more mums, dads, grannies and carers bringing their babies, toddlers and pre-school children along to our classes to enjoy a sing-along resulting in happier, more content, better developed children.’
Musical Minis classes take place in a variety of venues including local children’s centres and nurseries. To find the nearest Musical Minis class to you visit http://www.musicalminis.co.uk/classes/locations/swindon-and-north-wiltshire/ or call Chrissie on 01793 725 259.