The Music Center in Child Care

Toddlers playing with xylophones

Music Supports Children’s Development

A music center is an important part of any child care program. Listening to music, singing, playing musical instruments, and moving to music are all activities that support children’s development across several different domains.

  • Language development: Children practice words and phrases in repeating patterns by listening to and singing songs. They also become aware of the rhythms of language and the patterns of poetry. These skills help them become better at understanding and producing language

Fingerplays and Songs for Child Care

Boy with finger puppets

Welcome to the eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care database of fingerplays and songs for child care. Is there anything more enjoyable than watching young children light up as they sing a favorite song? In this collection, you will find lots of fingerplays, songs, and rhymes — some familiar and some new. 

There are three ways to see the fingerplays, songs, and rhymes:

How do I choose music that is appropriate for the children in my child care program?

Music is an important addition to any early childhood program. Participating in music teaches children a variety of skills, including

  • creative expression
  • understanding of emotions
  • rhythm
  • memory
  • appreciation of different cultures and musical styles

Creating music is also an enjoyable activity. When choosing music, try to introduce a variety of different types and styles. Start with the American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Recordings list (which includes both recorded stories and music) and the vast Children’s Music Web.