Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Have you hugged your music today?

A few years ago at the Kindermusik Educator Convention in San Antonio, TX, Carla Hannaford talked about the absence of touch in many early childhood care environments. That generally means young children will go through their day and be reprimanded for touching, holding hands, hugging, and in general, being given the freedom to wrestle, and topple over each other, which is essential for spatial awareness and strengthening neural wires in the brain.

These adaptions to your stop and go activities, and stop and go dances in your baby classes, can make a big difference in a child's life today: Toddlers Express Themselves through Dance.

Musical Hugs
This game also promotes listening skills, discrimination between sound and silence and practice with stopping and starting. It has the added bonus of positive physical contact, which strengthens the bond between you and your toddler. To participate, both of you move in any way you want while the music is playing. When it stops (again, you press the pause button), you go to each other and hug. Start the music again, and repeat!

If you have multiple family members playing, participants hug whoever is closest to them when the music stops. If you're having a birthday party with several children in attendance, play this game instead of Musical Chairs, which eliminates players and means less movement for all but one child and results in one winner and many "losers."

Musical Partners
A variation on the above game, this requires players to find each other, hold hands and sit down until the music starts again! If you have several players, the game also can be played in two circles, one inside the other (one partner in the inside circle and one in the outside). When the music starts, the circles move in opposite directions. When it stops, the children run to their partners, hold hands and sit down.

1 comment:

Helen Peterson said...

What a beautiful reminder and image. Thank you Molly. - Helen