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Katy TrailI have lived in Dallas 15 Falls and it’s my favorite month for gorgeous weather. No, it’s not crisp and cool New England with glowing trees, but we’ll take what we get (less humidity).

There are so many great places around town to enjoy the cooler temps and cleaner air. Whether on a walk down your street to your favorite park or around the lake or Katy Trail. Here’s my suggestion: Get outside AND throw in some music and movement activities you’ve learned from Kindermusik and really engage all your child’s senses.

The best thing about being outdoors is that a music activity can become a full body activity. Your child, age newborn-7, learns first and foremost through full body experiences. Shapes, colors, smells, textures, light, patterns–all these impress upon your child and impact whole-child growth and development. Nature is the perfect setting. It provides a wealth of hands-on multi-sensory stimulation. Nature meets a child at an unhurried pace while still providing a challenge. That’s the perfect combination of what we aim for in Kindermusik–a balance of comfort and variety. That’s the optimal formula for stimulating connections in the brain and enabling further growth.

We can show you some great fall outdoor activities if you join us on Mondays or Tuesdays at the Arboretum. These programs are free with general admission and include lots of activities that tie music to nature.

If you can’t make it out or need some ideas for home, try these:

Falling Leaves:

  1. Sing a downward scale “Autumn leaves are falling down; falling, falling, falling down.” (2 syllables per scale tone)
  2. Babies: Make it a tickle down your baby’s body or lift them high and “fall” down.
  3. Everyone else: Stretch high and slowly fall down to the ground. Falling slowly reinforces impulse control as well as coordinating musical direction with a sense of going downward.
  4. Change the words from “Falling Down” to swirling round, blowing round, etc.
  5. Collect leaves and toss them and watch them fall. Or create an original work of art to reinforce downward direction.
  6. Just sit and relax and gaze at a tree on a windy day and sing to your child.

Crunchy Leaves:
If you’ve done our classes with babies, you know one of our favorite ways to simulate crunchy leaves is using kitchen parchment paper. It’s perfect for your paper-loving baby! It’s foodsafe, doesn’t easily disintegrate or tear, and makes a great crunching sound. Perfect multi-sensory activity. (You can find it in rolls near the aluminum foil.)
Leave it in a roll or cut pieces to make leaves to crunch. Fill up a pack-and-play and put baby in with the paper (supervised)–hours of fun!
Toddlers and big kids love this, too. Take the parchment out and see if it sounds like a “real” crunchy leaf.

If you haven’t learned a squirrel song in Kindermusik, just wait–we’ll teach you soon enough! Try “A Little Squirrel Went Scampering” or “Hop Old Squirrel” but for real–outside. Dig a hole, climb a tree, crack a nut…get your hands dirty and enjoy the play.

Sound walk:
Finally, with this gorgeous weather, take a sound walk. We are all so overstimulated with sounds in this world (beeps, rings, dings). It is imperative that our children learn to listen attentively to what’s around them. Their ears are so polluted with so many noises, they need to be able to discern fine distinctions–birds chirping, leaves rustling, footsteps in the grass. I know, you may think your child won’t sit still long enough to really listen. I urge you to try it. You will be astonished at how fascinated they can be at the tiniest sounds and even silence.

So please bring a friend and join Miss Lisa at the Arboretum. And create outdoor learning opportunities at home. Tell us your favorite ideas!

This post brought to you by Miss Lisa