Where Smart Kids Get On Their Feet !

Welcome to Pitter Patter Feet

D'Ta-Relle's Portrait

Hello and welcome to the Pitter Patter Feet Blog. I am so happy you stopped by. My name is D’TaRelle F. Tullis, Founder and Owner of Pitter Patter Feet. Since its inception in 1993, The Pitter Patter Feet Method has been successfully used by over 20,000 children ranging in ages from infancy to 12 years old. It is a system comprised of music, movement, dance, physical development techniques and brain integration. The system is designed for all types of learning styles and ways children love to learn and is for both girls and boys. My specialty is early learners between the ages of 2 1/2 to 6. The goal of the program is to develop smart, happy and fit children by focusing on four key areas in child development, cognitive development, social and emotional development and physical development.


Children develop self confidence and esteem, a love of learning and exploration, have better self control over their bodies and emotions, become more self reliant and learn to work well with others. The most exciting result is children learn to use their brains and bodies more efficiently and effectively and express themselves with confidence and freedom. Most importantly, because all of the activities and processes are age appropriate and designed for young learners they are packed with fun, excitement and lots of movement and adventure.

Teachers, parents and directors also benefit greatly from the system. Because the Pitter Patter Feet Method was designed by an Early Childhood Consultant/ Trainer and Owner of a mobile dance studio, both the body and mind are engaged. The classes are held at the children’s school so parents do not have to worry about getting their children to an additional location. Teachers and directors also love it because children remain in a familiar environment and receive reinforcement and different ways of experiencing their Early Childhood Curriculums.  Movements from the class come from sports, the martial arts and yoga in addition to dance, creative movement and basic physical development movements designed to help build balance, hand eye coordination, spatial awareness and more. Props such as bubbles, balls and material are also used to enhance the learning experience and provide additional sensory information and experiences.


As mentioned earlier, all children are free to express themselves and have a great time. Some are silly( check out my friend in the front making a face and my smaller friend behind him with his shirt over his knees :-)), and some are just eagerly awaiting for the start of class. They are all honored and accepted for who they are and are all encouraged to do their very best at whatever level they are currently at.


This blog is designed to provide resources and information for parents, teachers, directors, principal and educators and everyone who works with and care for children and are interested in optimizing children’s potential as well  their own. You matter and your comments and questions are always greatly appreciated. I encourage you to share your experiences and expertise.  Please feel free to get your questions answered and add your comments. Let me know how I can best serve you and I will do my best! Please refer to the testimonial page on our blog to find out about others experience of the program. Have a great day!

Is It Developmental or Behavioral: Children’s Misbehavior


One of my greatest honors is teaching babies and boys!!! They both tickle me so much. Today I was teaching my students about their bodies and force. They were learning how to roll a ball to the other side of the room. They had to figure out how much force to use to get the ball to the wall. So of course these little cuties pies started throwing the ball at the wall , kicking the ball, balls were flying all over the place I was cracking up.


I had to stop the class and the music 3 times to explain the instructions and how it was to be done, and that if I saw a ball flying through the air, it was flying right back into my bag. Everyone complied except two little boys, so the balls went flying back into my bag. Well of course you know those boys had the fit of life, crying and carrying on. I explained in a calm voice what I had said earlier and said now they had to watch. They were not happy about that at all.

They both sat out one song, after which I asked did they want to try it again. The purpose of them sitting and watching was not to punish them. In watching the other children they could learn how to do the activity.  I once again explained the instructions. One little boy was able to do it. The other one sent the ball flying into the air again at which point I realized that he just didn’t know how to do it. So his teacher and I showed him how and broke it down so he could see what was happening.


Because I work solely in private schools and early learning centers, it is important for me to understand when a child is really misbehaving and can understand what I am asking them to do or when it is a situation where the child doesn’t have the capability to carry out a task because it is beyond them developmentally. We don’t expect babies to run  or hop or skip. You may say that’s a physical thing, but this happens physically, emotionally, socially and in other ways.

As educators and parents we have an opportunity to look further and ask is this a behavioral problem or are my expectations too high for what the child can actually do.  Asking this question opens up many opportunities to make things better and easier for both the child and us. Once we know the answer we can respond appropriately and in the best interest for everyone.


This is why I love my job so much. Sometimes things children do are not out of misbehaving but because they are not quite there developmentally. As Educators it is our job to know the difference and then support them in working on and mastering what it is we are teaching them. HOT DIGGITY!!!! I LOVE MY JOB!!!!!!! ♥♥♥

Health Alert For Children: Enterovirus D68

Mother Taking Care of Sick Daughter

There is a respiratory virus, Enterovirus D68 that is moving quickly across the United States affecting young child. It is highly contagious and starts out like a common cold, but lasts much longer.  It has affected over 1, 000 children so far and is growing. Children that suffer from Asthma are particularly vulnerable.


Parents and caregivers should monitor their child closely, looking for any difficulty in breathing or speaking , shortness of breath or wheezing. If you are concerned seek immediate attention. The normal cold and flu symptoms like runny nose, coughs, sneezing and fever are present with this virus also.


Hospitals and doctors are treating this virus with medication that they’ve been using for asthma. In the story I was following all of the children are better and recovering . I was very concerned because some cases were so bad that they had to be admitted to ICU. Some children lost consciousness due to difficulty with breathing.


This is the time of the year where we should be advising our children and following this procedure ourselves of washing our hands more frequently. Instruct your children to cough or sneeze in their elbow to prevent spreading germs.

Even in my dance classes if someone has a runny nose I instruct them to blow and wipe their nose and then immediately wash their hands before returning back to class. I make sure they put soap on their hands and scrub thoroughly. Drying your hands are also very important, wet hands spread germs also.

Make sure you and your children are getting plenty of rest, eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking a lot more water and fluids. Citrus fruits have a lot of vitamin C and actually all fruits and vegetables are very helpful.

Stay healthy and alert to any warning signs, so you can respond quickly. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Wishing you a healthy and happy Fall season. Eat plenty of apples since this is a great time for them. Please feel free to share this on social media, your own site and with your family and friends.




Toddlers and Preschoolers: Preventing Childhood Obesity While Building Social Skills

Lil tykes and Monique graduation 1-11-11 178

Preventing childhood obesity and ensuring development of the four cornerstones of child development is what I do on daily basis. As an Early Educator and Dance, Movement and Play Consultant and Expert, I work with children  from infancy to school age. Along with making sure that they are developing physically, I also have the honor and privilege of making sure that they receive a foundation in basic life skills. Social skills and empathy are two very important skills that all children need that will help them be successful in school and  later on in life .


When a parent or caregiver coos and talks to a child they are providing the foundation for their children to learn how to interact and be with others. When they look into a child’s eyes, they are not only acknowledging them and communicating to them that they are important and matter. They are helping them learn to experience the joys of connecting with another human being.

Today at one of my schools, I had another toddler push one of his class mates. “Not nice. Soft please. Gentle”. Because of their age and development level simple words work best. The tone of my voice is also a powerful tool as well as the use of my eyes. I maintain eye contact and speak in a matter of fact tone. And since children learn with all of themselves, I put my hand on his shoulder and said the word “Soft”.

Off he went and we all continued our music and movement class. We did a lot of running which boys love, as well as jumping. These two activities are great at getting children’s heart rate up and exercising their large muscles and cardiovascular system. Introducing them to structured movement early teaches them how to be in a class or group setting and also ensures that they are meeting developmental milestones.


In another class, this time with the Pre-K class two students were fighting over a toy truck. One student was screaming and crying and the other was just watching her. I kneeled down with the both of them and began asking questions. What happened? ” She has my truck one student cried.” Oh I said and turned to the other student and asked, ” Was she playing with it first?” She nodded her head yes. I then asked them both what do you think you should do? I then said that our friend K looks upset and asked the other student did she see that and she said yes. I then asked them both again what do you think you should do? Finally I asked do you think the both of you can sure. They both nodded their heads.

In the end we did resolve the situation. It was decided that one would play on the truck for a while and then let the other play awhile. The other student went and played with other things in the playground while the other happily rode the truck.


As an Early Educator one of the many things we want to do is empower children to learn to think for themselves, questions do that beautifully. Open ended questions help children to practice thinking for themselves. It opens the door up for children to explore themselves and others as well as different ways to resolve a situation.

Children are fast learners and this is a skill that helps tremendously in the classroom. It keeps things neutral and encourages children to be compassionate, calm and objective. It opens up possibilities and minimizes defensiveness. It’s also a great tool for adults also.

Dance, Music and Movement classes are an excellent opportunity for children to move their bodies in healthy ways to prevent obesity and learn how to interact and get along with others.

Please feel free to share this information with your friends, colleagues and family and on social media. I’d also love to hear about your experiences and what has worked for you. Please share your comments. I look forward to hearing from you.

Preventing Childhood Obesity With A Fun, Easy Way To Eat Vegetables

Arranged Vegetables Creating a FaceI have an 18 year old daughter who to this day does not like cooked carrots. I couldn’t figure it out, when she was a baby she ate all kinds of vegetables in the form of baby food. But as she grew older  probably around the age of 5 or 6 cooked carrots became this horrible thing.

One day while preparing a meal with carrots  she grabbed a raw one. They were baby carrots, which I love and often times eat as a snack. She loved them. I stood looking at her in shock. You like them! I said to her, you like your carrots raw? She smiled up at me with this little cutie pie face and said “Yes, mommy.”  I don’t know why but at the time it never dawned on me to feed her raw carrots as a part of a hot meal.  At the time it didn’t make sense to me to have both raw and cooked vegetables on the same dinner plate. In my mind all of the food should be hot unless you’re eating a salad before the meal.

I had to open my mind and thinking and think about what was the ultimate goal that I was trying to accomplish. That goal was to get her to eat healthy foods and one of those foods was vegetables namely carrots. From then on I started to think creatively about how I could get her to eat fruits and vegetables and drink adequate amounts of water.

One of the techniques that I used when she was a baby that helped when she was a little older was to have her eat airplane food. I would put the food on the spoon and it would fly around on top of the spoon with these sound effects of an airplane flying around and then into her mouth. She thought the sound effects were great and it really worked well.

One great idea that I got from http://www.ChooseMyPlate.gov is “Delicious Dippers”. It’s under Kid-Friendly Veggies and Fruits: 10 tips for making healthy foods more fun for children. They talk about how kids love to dip their foods which is true. I notice this a lot in my preschools. They suggest that you make a quick dip for vegetables with yogurt and seasonings like herbs or garlic. The vegetables that they suggested were broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. I find that cucumbers, cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes depending on the age of the child and red peppers are great too.

I find that kids really love the act of dipping and often just love eating with their fingers anyway. You can also change it up a bit and use yogurt with cinnamon or vanilla dip with fruit chunks. Eating doesn’t have to be a bore and a chore we can make it fun and interesting too. Please share your healthy recipes for preschoolers and young children that have worked for you. I’d love to hear from you. Just leave a comment below. You can also share this with your friends and family on social media, email or whatever works for you.

Preventing Childhood Obesity By Getting Fit With Your Child

Portrait of a young couple and a child with their arms outstretched

Wouldn’t it be great to have an activity that’s fun, promotes health and help you feel great afterwards? Wouldn’t it be even better if you could bond with your child and it would be something that the entire family can do? While thinking about giving you tips to keep your New Years resolution about getting into shape or improving your life, the idea came to me to have a Preschool Dance for Kids and Parents class.

I would modify the class a bit but the whole objective of the class would be creating a space where parents and kids can have fun together moving and dancing. It wouldn’t be a hard class, it would sort of be like a party but everyone is doing the same steps instead of their own steps. Doing your own thing can be incorporated into the class so the participants can have their own time for creative expression and to be in the spot light.

In my mind I see all these moving bodies both big and small with big happy smiles on their faces, some eyes opened others closed having a blast dancing to Elmo, Yo Gabba , The Backyardigans, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and much more. It would be an activity for both boys and girls and moms and dads. At the end of the class there would be a time to wind down and stretch and get in touch with your body.

It would be broken down into age groups like a class for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school aged children up to about age 7. The music would be based on what interested the children and what programs they watch on television. It would be great if it could take place once a week every week.

I can see having this type of activity in the beginning of a PTSO meeting at schools or just a way for schools both elementary and preschools to have a fun and healthy way of relieving stress for the parents and providing fun and fitness for both the parents and their children.

In my mind it sounds wonderful but I wonder what you all think of this. I would love to have your feed back and hear your thoughts on something like this. How do you think it would work best. I know initially the parents will not want to move. They will probably just want to sit and watch like they normally do. So somehow I will have to encourage them just a little.

Maybe I have to have it split where they can rest during the class and take breaks until they get their wind and the children can do more action oriented stuff like pretending to be pop corn, frogs and dogs crawling  and hopping on the floor. Anyway please share your comments on this idea by leaving a comment below and also sharing it with your family, friends or anyone you know that might be interested in something like this. You can also share this post on social media. I would love to hear from you. :-)