My eight month old son has started doing a lot of gesturing with his hands. My husband jokes that he is practicing tai chi, but he is definitely communicating with his hands! Now he adds that to his babbling, and he's having a real conversation.
Many children start to babble around the same time as they start to experiment with arm movements (such as banging a drum). In the corresponding podcast episode, The Babblers & Bangers, we touched on some of the ways we can model the use of gesture, and thereby support the acquisition of spoken language.
I present to you, dear friends, the DIY Infant/Toddler Drum Set!
- A variety of bowls, pots, measuring cups, and pans
- A paper towel holder
- One square of aluminum foil
- Optional: empty paper towel holder, wooden spoons (or any other "mallet")
- Turn your bowls, pots, and other "drums" upside down
- Take your square of aluminum foil and fold the sides inward, creating a "sort of" circle, and rest it on top of the paper towel holder, creating a "cymbal"
- Grab hold of your "mallets" or get your drumming hands ready, and make some noise!!!
- Imitate your child's rhythms - as I state in my podcast episode, "when we do this, we make rhythms together, we take turns, and we validate and repeat what our little ones create."
- From about 3-4 months, infants start to reach, grasp and see farther than the previous 12 inches. Young infants can enjoy grabbing for these objects (and potentially mouthing them) during tummy time.
- From 6 months (or when your infant is able to sit up), a drum set might be a wonderful way to harness an emergently babbling and banging little one (visit and have a listen to my podcast Episode 10: The Babblers & Bangers for more information).
- Toddlers (like the one pictured here) will also enjoy banging and making rhythms, especially if you try to imitate each others' sounds!
This post contains affiliate links. All activities described by Strength In Words assume close and continuous supervision of the child by an adult.
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