Each week that we are enjoying familiar activities in new ways. Last week we played sticks, bells, and egg shakers at just the right time to the recording “We are Fine Musicians.” This week we will pretend to play the instruments featured on this same recording. Repetition of something familiar along with a new twist strengthens the development of your child’s brain.
The Children are Learning…
- Counting: Learning to count accurately and efficiently, both up and down, is a skill known as “number sense.” Fingers are counting tools that you always have with you. Putting up one finger at a time will help children become familiar with numbers, which will lead to an understanding of all other aspects of math. Activities such as Hickety Pickety Buttercup give children the opportunity to practice their number sense. (Frombluti and Rinck 1999).
- Benefits of Cross-Lateral Movement: Cross-lateral movements increase both body strength and brain strength. In order for the brain to reach potential, the two hemispheres of the brain must work together. Cross-lateral movements increase communication from one side of the brain to the other through the connector, known as the corpus callosum.
- Sensory Integration: The focused-listening and movement components of We Are Fine Musicians in this lesson comprise sensory integration at its best: visual learners will appreciate the pictures, and tactile learners will experience the music more fully when they pretend to play the instruments. The music and simple cues between each section will engage the auditory learners, and moving and dancing will benefit kinesthetic learners.
- Sensory Awareness: Children perceive the world through their senses, and learning is facilitated when a child’s entire body is involved. All senses are engaged when children explore different aspects of movement. The kinesthetic sense increases as children literally feel the shapes and actions that their bodies are making. Visually, children respond to the images they see as well as the images they create. The auditory sense is stimulated as children respond to sounds (and music) they make or hear. These multisensory experiences help children appreciate the beauty in nature, art, literature and everyday living (Boyd, Chalk, and Law).
- Developing Style: When a child expresses her preference for an instrument, sound or texture, she is making an aesthetic choice. Family Jam provides a wonderful environment for aesthetic experiences that can enhance social sensitivity, promote language development, and improve the quality of young children’s own creativity (Danko-McGhee and Shaffer 2000).
“We Are Fine Musicians,” on your Home CD, will quickly become a family favorite! Bring Kindermusik home this week and find new ways to experience this song. Your older child might enjoy finding pictures of instrument families on the computer. Or, turn those left over boxes into instrument art projects—make a cardboard guitar or trumpet. Your toddler is on the move! So funnel that need to move into an energetic motion that goes along to the sound of a specific instrument—instrument aerobics for toddlers. You’ll be tuning ears as well as bodies!