Sometimes a research study comes along that just makes you wonder, “How did that researcher think to study that?” I recently came across a study that examined the relationship between hand-clapping songs and children’s cognitive development in the early elementary grades. At first I thought it seemed like a silly topic for a study, but as I read more, it actually had some pretty interesting findings. It turns out that the children in the study (1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders) who were exposed to hand-clapping songs had better cognitive abilities than children who were not exposed to such songs. This was especially interesting considering that the children exposed to hand-clapping had better cognitive skills compared to even the children in the music-only (no hand clapping) program. We’ve all heard of the benefits of exposing children to music at an early age, but apparently hand-clapping with the music adds something extra in terms of cognitive skills. Who knew patty-cake had such potential?
Amy Webb, Ph.D.
Writer and mom of two who brings academic child development and parenting information into the lives of ordinary parents who can use it in their daily lives.
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