Kindermusik has moved to a new location and we are now movin and groovin over at Terpischore Dance Studios in Studio C! What a wonderful new location for a Kindermusik class. Please check out Terpischore’s website (http://www.danceatterpsichore.com/) for information about dance classes for children ages 3 & up.
We sure “moved & grooved” in class last week (and broke a sweat doing it)! Everyone came with great attitudes and enthusiasm in class.
We’ve been practicing using movement words in our lyrics and pairing them with the proper movements so as to encourage the linguistic development in our little ones. We will use some of the same songs from last week in this class while varying the activites. This repetition of the songs and movement words will provide opportunity for linguistic development over the course of the 10 weeks and also give your children a sense of routine as they begin to familiarize themselves with the songs.
Words are simply sounds until they are associated with an object, action, experience or feeling. Combining sounds, movement, and language, such as fast and slow, high and low, and smooth and bumpy, gives children an opportunity to make connections between the action and sounds. When similar events and sounds are repeated together, words begin to have meaning (“The Meaning of Words.” presented by Bruce Perry at the National Early Childhood Advisory Board Meeting on May 19, 2000).
For more Family Time fun at home, enjoy fast and slow “family jams” (play-alongs) to your favorite songs using pots & pans, tupperware and wooden spoons for drums! Find ways of playing your drums fast and slow, high and low and moving to the 1-2 beat and the 1-2-3 beat.
Here are some developmental benefits from class this week and also some suggestions for how to continue learning at home by building on what we will do in class.
Balance Reaction – Balance reaction enables a child to shift his/her weight from side to side and forward and backward without falling. Activities such as lap bounces provide opportunities to strengthen muscles and practice balance reaction. Children as young as nine months of age begin testing this important motor skill. At home or wherever you are this week, try to find ways to challenge your child’s balance reaction…using the games we play in class or new ways such as standing on a slightly raised surface (small box or container) while holding your hands for safety, of course.
Phonological Awareness – Phonological awareness is a growing recognition of the sounds that make up a language. Recent research has confirmed that phonologically aware children begin school better equipped to learn how to read, and also with an appreciation of sounds and the meanings of words. Songs with rhyming words and nonsense syllables are enjoyable ways to heighten a child’s awareness of the sounds of language. It’s easy to practice this outside of the classroom, just play a “repeat after me” game using real words that rhyme or silly nonsense words – your children will be giggling and learning all at the same time! Play the “Jing Jang” game in the car, allowing your child to come up with new silly words and ideas for each verse (i.e.”Jing Jang, Jing Jang, let’s clap our hands!” or “Reach up high, Jing Jang!”)
Sign Language – We will also be incorporating some simple sign language into this week’s class. Often young children are better able to make linguistic connections when pairing words with gestures. We will learn 4 signs in class which you can practice all week at home with your family. Practice the signs with your child at home, even if s/he is already verbal, using signs is still a very beneficial developmental skill for all children.
Next week we will move on to a new musical concept – Levels!