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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!!!!!!! ♥♥♥

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 »

Do You Know The Breathing Rate Of Your Child

Oxygenating the body is a very important aspect of a child’s growth and development. Many parents do not realize this until there’s a problem with breathing. Problems arising from a cold or flu are expected to create a change in breathing rate, but there are other factors that affect it also.

Although every child is different other factors that contribute to breathing rates are, a child’s weight and body size and their level of activity. Children seem to have an abundance of energy and can seem very active. But one thing we need to realize is that they have this energy in spurts, their level of activity should look like a big wave. What that  looks  like is a high level of physical activity  followed by periods of lesser levels of activity. It should buid gradually and have a built in recovery period but that period doesn’t mean that they are totally still and not moving at all.

As a dance and movement consultant and physical development specialist for children, it is my job to pay attention to children’s breathing rates throughout our sessions. Many times my parents or teachers will say that a student has asthma and that is always good to know. Often times I do not experience attacks because  the sessions are designed to take into consideration how children need to move.

Weather changes are another factor that affect the breathing rates of children. If it is really cold outside but warm  inside our building, children tend to cough a lot after a vigorous activity like running.  So although running is good for them and is needed to develop their cardio vascular system which breathing is a part of, it should not be too taxing or demanding and have built in periods or rest or less demanding activities.


Breathing maintains the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in a child’s body. It  is critcial for children to maintain this balance for their growth and development. A by product of a child’s metabolism and growth is carbon dioxide. This is a waste product which has to be eliminated from the body. Breathing helps to eliminate carbon dioxide from the body while also providing oxygen to all the child’s vital organs like the heart, liver, lungs etc, as well as their bones, tissues and nerves.


“According to the New York State Department of Health, infants, from birth to 1 year, should have 30 to 60 breaths per minute. Toddlers, ages 1 to 3, breathe 24 to 40 times per minute. Pre-schoolers, ages 3 to 6 years, average 22 to 34 breaths per minute. Six- to 12-year-olds have 18 to 30 breaths per minute. Adolescents, ages 12 to 18, have 12 to 16 breaths per minute.”

You can get more information and other related topics at the livestrong site listed below, including how to measure your child’s rate of breathing.
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/115712-normal-breathing-rate-children/#ixzz2Qy550tSX

I hope you find this information useful. I would love to know what you think and if you have any questions or comments. Please be sure to comment, I ‘d love to hear from you. Also you can get a free ebook on healthy eating and moving for kids at http://www.healthykidsweightloss.com

How The Pitter Patter Feet Method Supports Its Teachers: Health and Fitness Combined With Learning

The Pitter Patter Feet Method is concerned with optimizing children’s fullest potential. How that is accomplished varies from day to day, no two days are alike. It is this particular component of working in the Early Childhood Education field that I love the most. There is no way you could ever get bored. Each day and moment actually provides you with a new adventure, something new to learn and ways to grow.

In one of my schools last week they were short staffed. One of the teachers had a death in the family so there were twice as many children to teach than normal. What this meant is normally there are two classes one with 9 children and the second with 12 children. Each class is divided according to age.  To teach the two groups separately is divine, a dream. Every one has enough space to move freely and express themselves and the potential for accidents is greatly reduced. Combining the two classes in the same space is like cutting the amount of space in half. Read more »

Do You Treat Boys Differently Than Girls In Your Class

Do you treat boys the same way that you do girls in your class? Because I teach dance to both boys and girls I sometimes get this question. Thankfully not as much as I did 20 years ago when I first started teaching in private and preschools. At that time people, especially fathers were really concerned about this. NO SON OF MINE IS GOING TO BE DANCING AROUND IN A TUTU! I would then ask them do you want your son to have better eye hand coordination, self confidence, be physically fit, learn what he can do with both his body and mind, score higher on standardized tests than his peers and a whole host of other benefits. The children do not have to change their clothes for the class. They would then stare at me with a blank face for a second then shake their heads and say “I don’t know let me think about it some more.”


When I have the time I explain to both parents how my classes differ from traditional dance classes and also how they are the similar. In addition to being a dance teacher I am also an Early Childhood Consultant and Trainer. This really helps me out a great deal, as a trainer and consultant I am required to take professional development and continuing education classes in Early Childhood Development and related topics. Doing this keeps me up to date and current on the many different methods and techniques as well as theories related to young children. I also have to stay abreast of all of the latest cartoons, characters and artists that the children love and current dance moves.

Parents, directors and teachers are getting two people for the price of one. Their children are getting the expertise of both a dance teacher that’s been teaching kids since 1986 and an Early Childhood Consultant and Trainer. This is why in Pitter Patter Feet classes the emphasis is not on dance. Although dance is the main component of the class as well as creative movement, the development of the child emotional, socially and physically are also just as important. Not only is a healthy and fit body important but also creative and artistic expression and developing a healthy and fit mind. The two go and hand in hand. But the biggest component of all of these is FUN!


I have found that when I make sure the children have fun learning is a breeze. I also want them to not just learn steps, or vocabulary or techniques I also want them to learn about themselves and other people. I want them to try new things and explore and laugh a lot. I want them to learn that if at first they don’t succeed try and try again and that eventually with time they will get it. I keep things fast paced and ever changing because that’s what their attention spans and level of development require. I expose them to different types of music as well as dance disciplines, like Tap, African, Hip Hop, Ballet and Jazz. Both boys and girls benefit from all of this.


My challenge week after week is to find a blend of activities that are good for both boys and girls and also are boy oriented and girl oriented. So there are activities in the class like dribbling and shooting balls, kicking balls, catching and throwing, tumbling, pretending to be race car driver, soccer playing and bowling with blocks that may be a little different from traditional classes. Boys love to run and jump more than girls and girls love to sing more than boys. So both the differences in the genders as well as what needs to be worked on are done.

Thank you for taking a peek into our classroom. I hope it gives you a pretty good idea of what goes on in the class and why both boys and girls have a great time in our class. If you are a Pitter Patter Feet parent please feel free to watch a class at your school. Also if you have any additional questions or concerns please leave a comment below.