There is so much that can be said about practicing a musical instrument. Practice at home is the key to turning weekly music lessons into a lasting ability to play an instrument. The role of the parent is especially important with young beginners.
For children ages 4-6, the music teacher will need your help to guide your child in practicing at home. Make sure that you understand everything that is taught during the lesson, what your teacher expects to be done at home, and how you can be involved. Essentially, you will be learning music alongside your child.
For beginners age 7+, you may not need to be as involved in every part of practicing. We still recommend that you set a routine for practicing, ask your child what they are learning, and listen to and praise what they do. After 1-2 years of music instruction, your child will be more able and willing to practice on their own.
We recommend this guide to effective practicing. It provides many types of fun and creative practice tips and games that you can try at home: http://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.do?itemid=296683&