Music does more for kids than just get them moving. It also helps them recognize patterns and boosts their language skills and memory, according to Mike Blakeslee of the National Association for Music Education. But with budget cuts driving music classes out of many schools, parents should consider finding a way on their own to get their kids a healthy dose of music appreciation. So if you can't spring for piano lessons, or your child just isn't interested, try one of these ideas:
When you travel, instead of buying T-shirts, choose a CD of a local band or type of music. You'll expand your kid's musical awareness, and the tunes will remind all of you of the place you visited.
Read aloud a kids' biography about a composer and then listen to his or her music.
Have your kid paint while she listens to different kinds of music. Tell her to draw what she hears and what she feels. You can compare the artwork she made while listening to the different styles.