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Prevent Childhood Obesity By Introducing Your Infant To Dance and Movement

Preventing childhood obesity is very easy when you start early with a child. It is never too early to start either. You can start even when the child is in the womb by rocking and swaying to music. It doesn’t necessarily have to be musical instruments or a CD or live band. A mother’s voice is a beautiful instrument to a child. It is beautiful music to their ears even in utero. You can make up your own songs which is a lot of fun and will give you a chuckle or two or you can sing nursery ryhmes or songs that were sung to you when you a child. The whole point of this is to introduce your child to the joy of movement. Movement is a whole lot more fun when it’s done to music. You can introduce your baby to many different kinds of music, Classical, Jazz, Folk, Country, Easy Listening, experiment.

Once they are born you can still continue to enjoy movement and music by singing and acting out Children’s Songs. Involve as much as their body as possible, move thier arms, legs, fingers and toes. Touch different body parts and identify them for your child so that they will be familiar with them. Some of the games that we used to do are obsolete now but very important. Games like “Peeka Boo”, “Patty Cake”, “Where Is Thumpkin and “Hokey Pokey” help children develope essential skills that they will need as they grow and mature.

In addition to giving children much needed physical activity,  the above mentioned games develop linguistic skills, brain integration and architecture, hand and eye coordination and bring joy and fun into both you and your child’s life. It is a great opportunity for you and your child to bond. You are your baby’s first teacher and you can build an amazing foundation for learning  and health by singing and dancing with your child. 

Don’t be intimidated by the words sing and dance. First and foremost your baby does not care if you are in tune or not or can carry a note. Just the sound of your voice is music to their ears. Secondly let’s define the word “dance”.  Webster’s New Dictionary and Thesarus defines dance as ‘1 to move the body and feet in rhythm, ordinarily to music or rhythmic movement”.  Every culture has some type of movement to some type of music or singing or chanting. If you ever had the pleasure of watching a baby move to music they are not necessarily trying to keep time or be on the beat. They are just moving to how they interpret the music. The most important thing is that you want to have fun and express yourself and allow and encourage your baby to express themselves too.

So I encourage you to do the “Hokey Pokey” even with your infant lying on their back. Teach them body awareness with “Head, Shoulders,Knees and Toes” and “Where Is Thumpkin”. It was not until I became an Early Childhood Consultant and Trainer in Creative Movement and Dance and learned about how the brain is developed through movement and what skills are needed for children to grow and develop optimally that I realized the importance of all those games and songs of my childhood.

It is in my job as a consultant that I see 3 and 4 year olds that cannot do a simple game like “Patty Cake”. What? you say , I was astonished too. But when you break it down “Patty Cake” requires skills like cooperation, hand-eye coordination,spatial awareness as well as rhythm and timing, a lot for a little mind to try and do at one time . This doesnot include the listening skills required and to know when it’s time to “roll it up and put it in the pan”. Most parents and teachers assume that kids will just learn these skills over time , but not if it’s not taught to them or they are not exposed to them.

So start now and your little one will be ahead of the pack. They will also learn words easier and quicker and begin to speak sooner. You will be making a valuable and important contribution to your child in helping them be fit, smart and happy children.

Your comments are greatly appreciated and help me to know what is important to you. I would love to hear from you. Also for more information and keeping your kids fit pick up a free report at http://www.healthykidsweightloss.com.

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