When I was pregnant I became a bit obsessive about unborn babies listening to music. I would lay on the bed for about an hour most nights with the Italian’s Bose earphones to my belly. I created a few playlists on the iPod in the hope that the baby would develop a passion for Il Divo (I was trying to instill Italian even then).
I downloaded podcasts of baby Einstein music and various other rhymes but nothing really captured my imagination as something I would continue to use after the birth.
One day I was browsing on eBay and came across a CD called BabyBoomBoom. You only have to read here why music and singing is so crucial for the language and speech development of small children. I noticed there were various languages and hey presto they had English & Italian. SOLD! For a bargain price of £9.99, I had the CD within about two days and was delighted to discover that it had all of the common English rhymes such as Twinkle Twinkle and Old McDonald had a farm.
After a short intro, the CD launches the first song, with the first bit in English and then Italian. It was a revelation to me! I could actually sing the songs along with the baby and learn Italian at the same time. I used the CD, headphones placed on belly, probably every night. I played it in the bedroom when I was putting the washing away and I played it in the living room when I was polishing. Before a few weeks, I knew all the words to all of the songs. It drove my husband absolutely insane! (which, if I’m honest, I took great pleasure in…well, I was hormonal!).
After Bambina arrived, I played the CD less regularly – she was only little. Then one day, when she was about three months old (and after having had a month in Italy) I put it on. Her little face lit up! It was amazing. She recognised the voices in the intro and cooed and arhed at the first song. The CD has become a part of our little ritual and it is definitely up there alongside Iggle Piggle as one of Bambina’s most prized possessions.
About four weeks ago, at nine months old, she started to respond to her grandparents who only speak to her in Italian, on Skype everyday. She responds to commands, she laughs in all the right places and at Easter she said Nonno (Granddad) for the first time. It was like we had just witnessed a miracle. Can this really happen at ten months old?? Apparently so. I spoke to a speech therapist friend who advised me that because I was playing the Italian songs when she was in the womb, she has probably built an emotional (safe) connection with the sound. Now that she hears here Nonni in Italy, she connects the melodic voices to the BabyBoomBoom music she heard before she was born. Now, I don’t know how true or how medically proven this theory is but it makes a lot of sense to me! Even Juliet Machan, co-founder of BabyBoomBoom, confirms that children can understand a foreign language before they can speak it:
“my daughter has a number of friends (with parents whose first language isn’t English) who can understand more than one language, and could do so even before they could speak”
Juliet kept a close eye on her daughter’s speech progression. She began to wonder how speech patterns are formed in young children. Wanting a way for her daughter to learn languages in a fun way, Juliet set about creating a music CD of popular nursery rhymes and having them translated. Word spread and before long the request list for her CD’s was off the charts. BabyBoomBoom was born and has continued to go from strength to strength ever since.
With CD’s offered in primary English and secondary French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, German, Welsh, Chinese Mandarin and Scottish Gaelic, the repertoire soon consisted also of baby and junior music bags; small instruments to compliment the CD and small enough to assist small hand co-ordination.
In 2010, BabyBoomBoom was recognised as the UK’s smartest small business, was shortlisted for a 2010 Mother and Baby award and won the practical pre-school award for the second year running.
In 2011, BabyBoomBoom won Gold at Practical Parenting & Pregnancy Awards and picked up the Practical Pre-School Award for the third year running with Gold for Modern Foreign Languages.
I’m excited to see what 2012 brings for them for they deserve everything brilliant that’s coming their way.
After Bambina’s recent linguistic performances, I contacted BabyBoomBoom to reveal just how instrumental I thought their CD had been. It transpired that they were willing take part in a little blog loving and have extremely kindly offered to donate a few Music Bags of toys and CD to Tea&Biscotti to giveaway to a few lucky readers.
So, if you would like your little one’s to chant along in another lingo, all you have to do is:
♥ Follow Tea&Biscotti by clicking on the Follow Me icon on the homepage of this blog and enter your email address to receive regular updates
♥ Follow Tea&Biscotti on Facebook: www.facebook.com/teaandbiscotti
♥ Follow Tea&Biscotti on Twitter: @TeaandBiscotti
♥ Leave me a comment below each time you’ve done one of the above (=3 comments)
Bambina will randomly select three lucky winner’s names from a hat on Monday 30th April 2012. Once I have confirmed who the winners are, you will be able to contact BabyBoomBoom directly with your langauge CD of choice. They will then post the goodie bag out to you directly.
If you are not on Twitter or Facebook but still want to enter, please follow the blog via email and leave me a comment saying why you think you should win.
I wish you the best of luck and extend my heartfelt thanks to BabyBoomBoom for being so generous!