Learning through music
From time to time as parents, we may find ourselves asking: Where has my sweet little baby gone? This question generally occurs during periods of intense growth and development, such as teething, moving to a “big bed”, and well, maybe right about now. Between 18 months and three years, children begin to realize that they exist as separate individuals apart from you. This revelation starts a revolution as your child begins to exert independence! Now, when it is time to get dressed, take a bath, or even get strapped in the car seat, your child says (or more accurately loudly demands!) “No! I do!” with escalating insistence. Where, oh, where has your sweet little baby gone, indeed.
Take heart. Your sweet little baby is still there. Your child might be stretching his independence muscles, but your little one still needs the sense of security that only you can offer during this emotionally turbulent time of development. Each week in Kindermusik class we provide a safe, predictable, and developmentally appropriate environment where your child can experience guided independence by practicing new skills, making choices, and sharing unique ideas with the class but still run back to the safety of your arms at a moments notice. So, rock your little one during “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” and know that this quest for independence will lead to a emotionally confident and capable adult…who will always be your sweet little baby!
Everyday Connection: Me Do…and You Do! Add an extra 5 to 10 minutes into your morning routine to give your child the time needed to get dressed, brush teeth, or put on shoes without your help. Some days your child will be all about “Me Do!” and other days “You Do!” Follow your child’s lead to best support your little one’s need for both independence and security.
What’s your child’s favourite song from Kindermusik this November?
Win a Kindermusik Prize Package (£30 retail value)! Tell us your child’s favourite Kindermusik song this November for your chance to win. We encourage you to extend the magic of music and learning into your child’s everyday life. What better way than with your Kindermusik songs? So, tell us your child’s favorite Kindermusik song today!
To Enter the Contest: Parents can simply fill out the form on this webpage:
This month Indoor Play magazine have published an article all about Kindermusik and how it is proven to benefit child development and learning. Read the full article – Hitting The Right Notes!
Psychologists, neuroscientists, and experts in early childhood development have demonstrated that music does more for children than bring them joy; it helps their brain cells make the connections needed for virtually every kind of intelligence. Kindermusik’s curriculum is built on this research.
When young children are consistently engaged by music in an age-appropriate, socially accepting environment, they benefit at many levels:
- Early Literacy. They gain the phonological processing, spoken language, and comprehension skills that are the foundation of reading.
- Quantitative. They build the spatial-temporal and reasoning skills required for math, science, and engineering.
- Social-Emotional. They develop social and emotional skills that are essential for school readiness—like the ability to regulate their responses and relate to others in complex ways.
- Physical. By moving and dancing to music and playing simple instruments, children improve their gross and fine motor skills.
- Creative. Activities that encourage freedom within a fun and friendly structure spark children’s creativity and provide inspiration.
And of course, they develop a lifelong love of music.
There is a reason children start out small. Changing nappies and clothes, strapping into car seats, bathing, feeding, sleeping (or not): It’s a steep learning curve for new parents! For many of us, it’s only after surviving that first year (and every year thereafter) that we recognise how much we learned along the way—and how much more we have to learn! Thankfully, as we built on what the previous day taught us, we gained both skills and confidence in our parenting abilities.
In Kindermusik, we call this learning process “scaffolding.” Each week in class, we support your child’s learning by building on your child’s current abilities and nourishing your unique role as your child’s first and best teacher.
Scaffolding involves varying the level of the activity depending upon your child’s responses. So each week in class scaffolding occurs when you investigate together different ways to mend shoes with rhythm sticks or when you follow your child’s lead on how to move with the scarves on “Sing a Ling” while also offering suggestions based on the original idea. As with your parenting abilities, scaffolding helps your child gain both skills and confidence.
Everyday Connection: “Scaffolding Seuss.”
During story time, use scaffolding techniques to support your child’s emerging literacy skills. Point out letters, label the pictures, ask your child questions about what is happening or encourage your child to make predictions about what will happen next or even after the book ends. Let your child’s responses guide the conversation.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then your toddler probably lavishes you with flattery throughout the day. You might notice your child “driving” in the back seat, putting a nappy on a favourite stuffed animal, or even “taking a photo” and “posting” it to Facebook with your phone. All of this imitation helps your toddler to begin experiencing the world from an external point of view.
For toddlers, imitating the behaviours they see around them is an early stage of pretend play and lays the groundwork for the development of empathy, emotional intelligence, creativity, and imagination.
In Kindermusik class each week, we include themes about familiar activities your toddler may experience every day at home. So, while your child imitates a dog barking, pretends to look for a lost dog, or even pretends to be Rover sitting down, lying down, and rolling over, your little one is exploring and developing pretend play.
Everyday Connection: A box is a box—unless it’s not.
A box may be a box to you, but to your child it can be a computer, a car, a lift, or a baby bed. Before heading to the recycle bin, encourage your child’s pretend play with an empty box or a paper towel tube.
Despite what your baby sounds like at times, your loved one is not in fact turning into a pterodactyl, a creature from the Amazon rainforest, or a boat. When you hear your baby exploring the wide range of noises produced by the human voice, mouth, and tongue, your little one is actually engaging in play—vocal play, to be specific. Cooing, babbling, blowing raspberries and, well, screeching like a pterodactyl are all part of it.
At Kindermusik, we know that vocal play is one of the early stages of language development and you play a pivotal role. In class, we create many opportunities for vocal play to happen. Whether singing, chirping, hopping, or pecking “Over in the Meadow” or laying together making popping sounds, you and your baby engage in vocal play by touching, gazing, observing, listening, and imitating. All of this vocal play supports your child’s vocal development by encouraging breath control, the use of the vocal cords, and the coordination of the small muscles in the face and mouth. Plus, the pausing and waiting during vocal play teaches your child conversational turn-taking.
Everyday Connection: Seeing (and Talking) Eye to Eye. Turn nappy changes into special moments together. A changing table makes it easy to gaze into your baby’s eyes and talk together. Repeat sounds your baby makes and smile. All those “goo-goo-gah-gahs” will eventually turn into “mamas” and “dadas!”
How does your family make every day a Kindermusik day?
Do you sing along to your Kindermusik album?
Do you read your favourite Kindermusik story books?
Do you have a favourite activity from the home materials?
Whatever you do to extend the magic and music of Kindermusik into your home, we invite you to share a photo of your child enjoying Kindermusik outside of the classroom for a chance to win!
This month, one winner will receive a free month’s tuition and ALL entries will be entered into the Grand Prize draw for a new iPad!
Please note: By uploading your photos, you are confirming that you own the image and all rights to it. You MAY NOT upload any image which violates ANY copyright law, international or otherwise. By the process of uploading, you are giving your permission to use the photographs for Kindermusik marketing purposes.
Do you remember when we actually called someone on a mobile phone? Ah, those primitive years! Then texting entered the scene. Many of us watched in amazement as those of a certain age moved their fingers at an alarming rate while we struggled to text even one word on the tiniest of keyboards. Our finger muscles and fine motor skills certainly got a workout as we learned this new skill.
Children also need to learn how to use and coordinate their finger, hand, and wrist muscles—not for texting—but for reaching, grasping, and more.
In Kindermusik class each week, we include many activities that support your child’s fine motor skills development. Wiggling fluffy chicks in a “Ten Egg” finger play or striking the resonator bars on “Sweetly Swings the Donkey” helps your child learn to coordinate hand, finger, and wrist movements that support fine motor control and precision.
The skills practiced in class and at home build the foundation your child needs for buttoning buttons, zipping zippers, tying shoes, using scissors, and even writing. Texting will come later. Much later.
Everyday connection: Let your fingers do the walking.
Finger plays are great activities to do together anywhere. Waiting at the doctor, shopping, restaurants, or even at bedtime. Teach your favourite to your child or pick one from class.
Do you remember the first time your child said your name (or something that closely resembled your name)? Your heart melted a little bit, didn’t it?
Then, you probably encouraged your child to say your name again and again, while repeating your name and pointing to yourself—all while holding a camera inches from your baby’s face. You instinctively created a contextual learning experience for your child when you supported the use of your baby’s new word in this way.
Now, as a toddler, your little one has probably moved beyond just saying your name. However, contextual learning – talking about and naming an object during an interaction with that object – remains a key way your child learns new words.
In Kindermusik, we intentionally include contextual learning activities that support your child’s language development skills. So, when we talk about our hands or fingers, move them in different ways, gaze into mirrors and talk about what we see, or even sing about shaking out our tummies, your toddler builds vocabulary in a meaningful—and personal—way.
Everyday Connection: Rub-a-Dub-Dub Washing Knees in the Tub!
During bath time, label your child’s body parts as you bathe your little one. For older toddlers, try mixing up the names. “I’m washing your toes” (while you scrub your little one’s tummy).
Your child will love correcting your “mistake.” Plus, all this fun helps your child learn new words.
Children grow up fast, and the first year of life is no exception. Babies grow by leaps and bounds in their first year—or, more accurately, by wriggles and crawls. One minute you hold a newborn who reflexively grasps your finger. Seemingly, the next minute your little baby intentionally reaches up to touch your nose.
Whether reaching for a nose, lifting a head during tummy time, clapping, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, or (gasp!) walking, your baby exerts tireless hours to learning how to intentionally move.
In Kindermusik, we understand the importance of both fine and gross motor skill development. Each week in class, we provide many opportunities for you and your baby to engage in fun, musical activities that support and strengthen each stage of your child’s movement development. From tummy time to playing with baby-safe instruments to gently bouncing your baby in your lap, class activities will support the development of the small and large muscles as well as coordination for more complex movements like eventually kicking a ball, jumping, and even writing.
Everyday Connection: Just dance.
In order to effectively learn to move, your baby must gain an understanding of gravity. Dancing together can help. So, put on some of your favorite music, and gently dance with your baby. Hold your little one in different positions: facedown (while still supporting the neck), sideways, or face forward.
At Kindermusik by Jan, we understand just how unique and precious the first year can be for both parents and babies. The first year of a baby’s life is filled with, well, lots of firsts: first time holding your little one, first smile, first bath, first time rolling over, first time sleeping six hours straight!
Our brand-new Kindermusik class offering – Cuddle & Bounce -celebrates your first year together. With age-appropriate activities for newborns, infants and crawlers, this parent-child music and movement class will help you strengthen those early parent-child bonds, understand your baby’s development, and enhance communication with your little one.
What happens in class:
In class, you and your baby will enjoy instrument play, dancing, exploration time, and together time in a loving and safe environment. Plus, as a licensed Kindermusik educator, I’ll share expert tips and parenting resources based on the most recent research in baby development. In addition, you can connect with other families experiencing all the joys (and challenges!) of this first year.
A weekly class and access to Kindermusik@Home, online parenting resources where you can access your music from class, developmental insights, and specific ideas on how to incorporate music and movement activities into your family’s daily routines and rituals.
Come cuddle and bounce with your baby in Kindermusik’s newest curriculum. Contact me to reserve your place today or to set up a free preview class