Sometimes parenting feels a bit like playing a game where the rules change constantly. Shortly after mastering the perfect origami-like swaddle, your child no longer needs it to sleep through the night. Or maybe you finally figured out how the straps on the stroller work but now your little one insists on crawling or walking everywhere. One rule will never change: You are your child’s first and best teacher.
Your child learns by building on what he already knows. You support that learning by watching him, asking questions, and encouraging him to try something new. In Kindermusik class, we call that “scaffolding.” So, while your child explores instruments, plays with scarves, or moves around the classroom in a jig or a jog or even a jiggity jog, you encourage his growing independence. Plus, each week you receive the built-in support system of other Kindermusik parents trying to keep one step ahead of their own child! We call that on-the-job training!
Everyday connection: Wishy-Washy-Me! Encourage your child to practice washing favorite bath toys singing the favourite tune from Kindermusik Our Time Wiggles & Giggles class, Wishy Washy Wee. Use the scaffolding technique. Ask questions like “Do you think he needs to wash his hands? Wishy washy, wishy washy, wishy washy WEE!” Make observations like “I see you wiped his mouth. Wishy washy, wishy washy, wishy washy WEE!” Give challenges: “What do you think is the best way to rinse him off? Wishy washy, wishy washy, wishy washy WEE!” Soon, those lessons will transfer to him bathing himself (with your supervision, of course!).
Spotlight on Learning: Village
By exploring with sound, babies and young toddlers practice their visual thinking skills or spatial-reasoning skills. Good visual thinking skills are essential for a child to later excel in math, science, and geography. We spend time in Kindermusik Village doing this together by playing different instruments and experimenting with lots of sounds, such as the different bird calls we “sing” together. In fact, children participating in Kindermusik tripled spatial-reasoning skills during a recent research project.
Be a Sound Explorer with your child. How many different sounds can a bath book, baby spoon, and Kindermusik Chime Ball make? Does a sippy cup with milk make the same sound as a sippy cup filled with cereal? What items on your changing table make sounds that can entertain your baby during a diaper change?
Your little one learns by playing. Through play, she develops cognitive and language skills and practices a wide variety of abilities such as gross and fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and visual tracking. However, around the time we traded in our Barbies and Transformers for iTunes downloads and the latest fashion trends, we momentarily forget how to play like a child.
Each week in class, we help unlock those repressed memories and show you age-appropriate ways to play together that can easily be incorporated into your daily lives. In order to be a Kindermusik educator, we train and continue with professional development to make sure as teachers, we are the best. To your child, you are the best teacher and her favorite playmate. We know that, too. So, slip off those shoes (or leave them on!), and just press play. Everyday connection:It’s Play-o’clock Somewhere. 2am feedings aside, any time is playtime to your child. Waiting in line at the store becomes the perfect time for a modified version of the Duck Dance. Try a little lap bounce at the doctor’s office as you wait. Even cleaning the house can be playtime when you change the lyrics to a favorite song: “Gee, but it’s great to pick up toys in your room.”