What’s Happening in Kindermusik Our Time

March 2014:

What we’re doing and why we do it!

AWAY WE GO

Get out that yellow and green Activity Book and have some fun:
Wheel Hunt Game, p. 20
Field Trip, p. 23
Follow the Chalk Road, p. 24
Listen to your 2nd Home CD and play together:
Floating Down the River, Follow My Leader to London Town, Run and Jump/Soaring.
Let’s Listen, p. 25
My Verses, p. 25
Dance and Stop!, p. 26
Let’s Read a Book!, p. 27
Four Fishy Games, p. 28
Rocking Together, p. 38

Look for wheels wherever you go. Finding these wheel shapes is an important step in your toddler’s development, symbolizing his ability to form categories in his mind—an important skill for school someday.
You’ll find them in obvious places like cars and buses, but your toddler may notice wheels in places you’ve never seen before.

EMOTIONAL SECURITY
Running and jumping into the arms of an adult is a favorite game of young children.  It allows children to practice and master the skills of running and jumping and/or leaping.  It also has meaningful emotional content.  Knowing that Daddy or Grandma will catch her when she jumps is a display of trust and represents a level of emotional security in the relationship.

WORD ACQUISITION
Exposure to a variety of movement words helps children link movement and language at a time when word acquisition is occurring at a fast pace.  Between the ages of 18 months and 4 years, children are comprehending, on average, one new word for every hour they’re awake.  By age 4, most kids know around 10,000 words.

SECURITY IN ROUTINES
The ritual of beginning and ending class the same way each week is an important element of class structure.  There is security in routines.  Events that can be counted on to come at the same time or in predictable order help a child learn how to organize time and help him develop confidence in his ability to foresee what comes next.
By now you know your toddler thrives on routines and rituals. She’s comforted by predictability. Familiar patterns give her self-confidence and a feeling of control in a world that often feels out of her control.

Routines such as the Our Time “Hello” song, rocking time, circle dancing, and good byes form a solid structure for your toddler. Activities she can look forward to each week.
Throughout your week at home, notice the rituals you have formed as a family and take care to preserve them. Just as in our classroom, they will bring a sense of security to you all.ATTACHMENT AND EXPLORATION
Much of toddlerhood can be understood in terms of the child’s gradually coming to grips with the two motives of attachment and exploration, integrating them into a unique individual style that becomes relatively stable through life.  The Emotional Life of the Toddler, by Alicia F. LiebermanWhat goes up comes down with a bounce—and lots of laughter!
It’s all about learning something new the toddler way, which means challenging and inspiring that natural sense of wonder. And this week, it was all about having a ball.
Toddler’s don’t always realize the physical properties of a ball, and may be surprised and thrown off balance when a ball bounces back up. But, by practicing bouncing and rolling balls in class, she will learn to predict what the ball will do and move as she needs to maintain her balance and keep control of the ball.
She can use these balancing skills when learning new moves, like skipping and jumping. Rolling and catching the ball improves hand-eye coordination, which will help her with many activities as she grows.

The focus of Smooth and Bumpy provides another link between music and transportation.  In transportation, we experience the smoothness and bumpiness of a ride in a vehicle.  In music, we sense smoothness in sustained legato, and unaccented musical lines.  Bumpiness is sensed in staccato and/or accented musical lines.

RESPONDING TO THE UNEXPECTED
When things break it can be upsetting to children, and they often need help getting through the upset.  Playing out a resolution to this type of event helps children rehearse an attitude of “I can do something about this.”  Being able to respond to unexpected or undesired events in this way is an important life skill.

STEADY BEAT
The most fundamental property of music is beat, the underlying, unchanging, repeating pulse.  Feeling and moving to a steady beat develops a sense of time and the ability to organize and coordinate movement within time.

Toddler’s don’t always realize the physical properties of a ball, and may be surprised and thrown off balance when a ball bounces back up. But, by practicing bouncing and rolling balls in class, she will learn to predict what the ball will do and move as she needs to maintain her balance and keep control of the ball.

She can use these balancing skills when learning new moves, like skipping and jumping. Rolling and catching the ball improves hand-eye coordination, which will help her with many activities as she grows.

As children listen, sing, speak, move and play they experience the contrast between Smooth and Bumpy  firsthand, internalizing these concepts.  Examples of the use of bumpy and smooth in activities include pretend boat play in Two in a Boat, smooth rolling and bouncy bumping ball play in Keep the Ball A-Rolling, smooth and bumpy movement in Floating Down the River and I am a Steamroller, legato and staccato recorder playing in an Instrument Demonstration, and others.

MOVEMENT AND LEARNING
Movement is the key to learning!  Our brains fully develop through movement activities such as crawling, rolling, turning, walking, skipping, reaching, swinging and much more!  The brain has a plan for development that involves specific and intensive motor activities to make full use of our complicated nervous system.

Lisa Muratore