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Retooled 'Spotify Kids' wants to help parents teach children language skills
Previously little more than a glorified sleep aid, Spotify’s Kids & Family section has been redesigned as a musical toolbox to help children develop vocabulary and language skills. It’s especially meant for infants and toddlers, but parents can learn a thing or two from it as well!
With studies increasingly raising awareness about how singing can stimulate the development of the youngest brains among us, Spotify has partnered with several early childhood initiatives to create a collection of playlists to turn everyday activities into educational experiences.
The curated playlists, which are available in English and Spanish, are themed around activities that include bathtime, bedtime, playtime, and riding in a car. Tucked between tracks are voiceovers with tips for parents and caregivers. These suggestions offer ways to engage children in “language-rich activities.”
Spotify also pulled a lot of content from user-created playlists made for family time. These songs are mostly timeless staples of childhood collections, and Spotify hopes the selection will evoke feeling of nostalgia in older listeners.
Furthermore, the music platform is leaning on star power to bring aboard a cast of celebrity voiceovers. Some of the celebrities lending their voices include Wiz Khalifa, Ashley Williams, Tyler Perry, Fantasia, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Diego Torres and Frankie J.
Regular experience with music during the early years, especially singing songs, is correlated with language development and even early math skills like patterning
Zero to Three, a non-profit organization focused on child care, found that one third of parents think it’s only beneficial to talk to their children at a year old or later. “However, the benefits [of communicating with your child] begin at birth,” stated Rebecca Parlakian, senior director of Programs at Zero to Three. The non-profit belongs to a list of Spotify Kids collaborators that includes the Clinton Foundation’s Too Small to Fail, the Bezos family’s Vroom, and others.
“Regular experience with music during the early years, especially singing songs, is also correlated with language development and even early math skills like patterning,” Parlakian said. “Most importantly, sharing music and songs with children is fun—singing, playing simple instruments, and dancing are all ways to share special moments with young children and can strengthen the parent-child relationship.”
The reintroduction of Spotify Kids & Family follows last week’s unveiling of the streaming music service’s new video game hub. While that probably won’t teach gamers any new language skills or define what it really means to “git gud,” it will at least serve as a home for playlists to spice up gaming sessions and a hub for video game OSTs.