Going to the grocery store can be routine. You make the same loop every week: milk, bread, diapers, caffeine-of-choice; milk, bread, diapers, caffeine-of-choice. What would happen if each time you went to the store, they moved it all around? Suddenly, a trip to the grocery store becomes an exercise in frustration as you try to make sense of your surroundings.
The value of routine works similarly in your child. Routine helps him make sense of his surroundings and know what happens next. In Kindermusik, we build familiar routines into the class to help your child become comfortable and anticipate what comes next. The Hello song signals that class is starting. The story blanket means … well … it’s story time. The Good-bye song brings the class to a close.
Everyday connection: Establish a nighttime routine. Use music to signal to your child the start and end. “My Bonnie” and “You Are My Sunshine” are Kindermusik family favorites! Turning on lullabies or relaxing music after dinner will let your child know that the day is coming to a close. It is time for bath, books, snuggles, and bed. Plus, many children fall asleep faster (and sleep better!) with an established bedtime routine. Now that is a routine any parent can appreciate!
This year Sing Music Studio ran a draw with an amazing prize for the families that were registered in the Fall 2011 Kindermusik Semester to participate in. And the prize was… FREE TUITION! This is the first time Sing Music Studio has offered a chance to win free tuition. After a few years of working with dedicated clients and wonderful families becoming such an integral part of our Kindermusik family, it just seemed like the right time to give a little more back – because these dedicated families deserve a little break once in a while!
So, congratulations to Jana and Irina for winning the free tuition prize! Jana and Irina have been coming to Kindermusik at Sing Music Studio since 2010 beginning with our toddler program, Our Time and also participating in most of the Sing & Play Dates. This fall, Irina graduated up to Imagine That for preschoolers. In the time they have been coming to Sing Music Studio I have already seen so much growth and change in Irina. She was barely speaking when she began Our Time, was a little quiet and shy and now Irina has so much to say and share, it’s hard to believe she’s the same girl! Irina’s beginning to develop a sweet little singing voice and now that’s she’s experienced the community togetherness and social skill development in the toddler class, she’s having no trouble adjusting to the new routines developing with her peers in the “big kid” class without mommy! I’m really looking forward to seeing the changes to come in Irina’s development and musical skill – but I hope it doesn’t happen too fast – you’re only young once!
Congratulations again Jana and Irina! You deserve it!
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.”
Here are some tips on how you can make the most out of your kindermusik class:
Scaffold with your child.
Instead of telling your child what to do, lead your child to discover what to do. When we are exploring egg shakers together in class, it’s so easy to say to your child, tap your egg shaker on your knees or tap on your shoulders. But your child isn’t getting the opportunity to problem solve when we give the answer so readily. Instead, try saying, I like how you are tapping on your knees, now can you find another body part to tap on? Or, how else can you make your egg shaker move across the floor?
Model active listening.
By modelling, you are helping to support your child’s learning by showing them how to listen. SInce listening is a learned behaviour, it is important that we begin by showing them how to do so. When we are quietly listening together and using our facial expressions to show our enthusiasm, we are actively engaging our children in listening along with us. An important step in listening skills.
Be present during story time.
Help your child’s focused attention on the story by focussing your attention on the story. Another great example of modelling behaviour. Join in closely around the story blanket and help create a beautiful, calm, story loving environment for nurturing our young readers.
Become fully engaged in the classroom experience.
The more you participate, the more your child will participate. Sometimes grown-ups are asked to do things in kindermusik that may be outside of their comfort zone as an adult, like crawling on their hands and knees or rolling on the floor. Did you know crawling increases the connection between the two hemispheres of the brain and that rolling actually helps your child develop balance and coordination as well as brain development? But some children hesitate to participate because their parents hesitate to participate. It’s definitely more likely that your child will feel emotionally supported and confident if you are fully engaged. Setting the stage for support, bonding, communication and confidence that will carry your child through childhood, the teenage years and into adulthood.
Sing out, regardless of your ability.
There is no vocal judgement in kindermusik class. We are all here to enjoy and appreciate music. Your baby/child loves you and your voice no matter what. So sing out, embrace the music and help your child develop a confident love of one of the most amazing and powerful gifts we can give our children – music.