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Why Bouncing Babies Is Good For Them

When I teach my infants we have this song called “Bouncing Baby”. This is one of their favorite songs. I use it for children from around six to seven months up to two years old. I think one of the reasons that they love it so much is babies love to bounce. Bouncing, clapping and tapping are all very important to babies’ growth and development. These three things help babies with rhythm and timing.

Helping children with rhythm and timing is important. It helps them with Read more »

Baby Dance: Happiness In The Little Things

Today while teaching my infant class I got the greatest thrill. These little precious ones are  probably around 10 to 12 months or younger. None of them are walking yet and have support while they are dancing. They sit either in a bumpy or high chair. Other times they sit in our laps or support themselves on the floor. They can wiggle their bodies and move their arms and legs, bop their heads and my favorite laugh and giggle.

In this class we learn simple things like clapping, creating different rhythms and learning different body parts  and just the freedom of  moving their body. It’s also a time to learn about what their bodies can do and how the different parts of the body function differently from each other. Like how your hands can hold and shake a rattle but not your toes. Read more »

Using The Television In A New Way

Need something fun and different to do with your kids when they are bored? This is something that you can do no matter the age of your child. Even infants would benefit from using the television in this way. It is an immediate and accessible tool that you can use that brings in fun and joy. One of the other great things that I love that it does is incorporates doing something with your body other than sitting. Read more »

You Wouldn’t Believe This! It’s Like She Read My Mind

I had an amazing day with my students today. Watching them reinforced to me why I do what I do. Today I was teaching a toddler class. These students are actually a combination of infants that sit and watch and move on the side lines and toddlers. The toddlers range in age from about a year or 12 months to 24 months. They love certain parts of the class and I can’t get away with not doing it or else they’ll just leave me out and start doing it amongst themselves, talking in their baby talk that nobody else can understand except them.

In today’s class we were using plastic balls the kind that used to be at Chuckie Cheese, as percussion instruments. The children have a blast banging these balls together to the song of “Conga” on the “Go Diego Go” Soundtrack. They bang these balls to the beat of the song while following and doing what I’m doing with my balls. The children really love this and are learning about beats, rhythm and timing.

After banging the balls together their second favorite thing is throwing the balls back into this large circular bin like object where the balls are stored. If you don’t know it already kids love to throw.

So this girl is trying and trying to throw a ball in the bin and she just keeps missing. She throws the ball. The ball hits the bin and falls to the ground. She chases after the ball and throws it again, and again and again and again. She must throws this ball about 7 or 8 times.

During these attempts I am encouraging her to try again. Which really didn’t make a difference because she was determined to get that ball in the bin. So finally I say to myself, if you keep trying something again and again and it’s not working, after a while  you probably should try something different.

I had no sooner thought this when the little girl finally figures out that she can climb up a couple of steps and then throw the ball in. And this is exactly what she did. The teacher and I looked at one another shocked. We then both shook our heads and said no one would ever believe us. But we were so happy that we both witnessed it together so we knew we weren’t imagining things.

After successfully getting the ball in the bin, she went on her merry way. What’s so big about this you say. Plenty!!!! First many children would have lost interest or got frustrated and started crying. The fact that she didn’t was a major accomplishment. Aren’t persistence and perseverance qualities that we want to develop in our children, especially when it comes to accomplishing their goals. The second thing is that she so quickly came up with her own solution of successfully accomplishing her goal. No one coached her, as a matter of fact it all happened within a few minutes or so.

How and why did this happen? I will tell you. Every week this young lady has been taking Creative Movement classes for at least 10 weeks maybe longer because I don’t remember when I first started teaching her exactly but I know it’s been a minimum of 10 weeks. During those ten weeks we repeatedly did movements that created pathways in her brain where the left and the right sides of the brain are communicating more efficiently with each other. Because of this more efficient communication and integration she processes information a lot faster and can problem solve so much faster.

I have experienced this time and time again which is why  I continue to do what I do.  Besides having an absolute blast and laughing the whole time I feel that I am making a major contribution to society. Not only am I helping her cognitively, I am also helping her esteem and feelings of accomplishment and empowerment. YAAAAYYYYYYYY!!!!!! this makes me feel great! I LOVE WHAT I DO!!!!

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Baby Dance:Babies Learn With Their Bodies

In a school where I teach the entire school from infants to school aged children for summer camp, I noticed an interesting thing in the infant class during dance time. When I have dance with infants and toddlers we need more teachers in the class than we would for just preschoolers or toddlers alone. The teachers enjoy this class and love to dance along also. I encourage them to dance along because it is great for the children to see them dancing and enjoying themselves. It is also great because the children tend to follow their teachers and me.

In this one class we started moving around the room, during the gross motor time of the class. This is the time where we jump, gallop and jog. It is important that children learn to work their large muscles of their arms and legs and also learn how to coordinate the two. So the teacher put one of the babies back in the crib to watch. Because this child could not yet walk she didn’t see the value in having her participate in this portion of the class. I understood her perspective because she didn’t know what I knew.

What I knew was that babies learn with the bodies and all of their senses. They don’t need to have to do the exact same moments, but still they are learning. They don’t distinguish and say now what I am learning is for cognitive development and now what I am learning is social development or now it’s pre-literacy time. They are just learning and exploring, it is all one thing.  And they also learn by experiencing sensations in their bodies. So not missing a beat I scooped the little cutie pie out of her crib. Hoisted on my hip we galloped and as we galloped I said the words, gallop, gallop, gallop , gallop. As she listened to the words her body was experiencing what a gallop feels like in her body. Her body went up down , up down up down. She was so tickled and had the biggest smile and made gurgling sounds.

We then moved to jogging in which I repeated the same thing and jumping. Although she could not move in this way yet, she still could enjoy what it was like to move her body to music even if it was through someone else. She also learned where her heel was and her toe on her body as we sang heel toe, heel toe, heel toe. As I said them to her I would touch her heel and her toe so she could learn what and where they were. We had a great time of learning and dancing.

So as you can see your baby can dance with you even if he or she cannot walk yet. They can experience movement both through you and on their own as you move their body parts for them. So keep this in mind and dance with your baby the next opportunity that you have .

Please try this and let me know what you experience. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.