What we’re doing and why we do it!
Repetition of experiences causes the connections between brain cells, the synapses, to strengthen, become stable and build Baby’s brain.
The hello ritual develops emotional stability and a feeling of trust and well being between adults and babies. The first year f life is a “crucial window” for building trust. Friendly surroundings of greetings and exchanges provide an environment for positive social interaction. Baby feels before he thinks.
“The most important thing you can do to make your child a reader is to read aloud stories and poems-the more the better!” Read to Me: Raising Kids who Love to Read by Bernice E. Cullinan. The Dewdrops book is meant to be held, looked at and touched by Baby. The pleasure of interacting with a book gives Baby an experience with written language even before written symbols are understood.
The sense of vision functions most effectively when the eyes are moving, thus taking in and processing sensory information.
Learning to communicate is a milestone for all children. As you know, there are many ways to communicate, and I’m sure you and your child have special ways of talking with each other that perhaps no one else understands! Today we found that there are many ways to say “hello,” even without using words. While singing Rig-a-jig-jig, we found that there are as many ways to say “hello” as there are people!
For a fun activity at home, read Home Activity Card 2 and explore ways to communicate with your child using a mirror. You might even try teaching your child the American Sign Language sign for “hello.” It is a simple wave back and forth of the open right hand.
Baby needs to move his arms, legs and all body parts in order to gain control over them and make movements deliberate. “Move your baby to learn, so she can learn to move.” How to Have a Smarter Baby by Dr. Susan Ludington-Hoe
High pitches play an important part in maintaining alertness and energy required for learning. Lower pitches calm and relax the body. This contributes to a sense of well-being.
Bouncing Baby while singing or chanting is a beat experience. This provides an opportunity for Baby to hear and feel the beat as well as the meter. The ability to keep a steady beat helps in using scissors, bouncing a ball, and even walking with self-confidence.
“Brain development is directly linked to movement. Holding baby in different positions develops different neural connections in the brain.” Anne Green Gilbert, author: Creative Dance for All Ages.
Steady beat is the unchanging continuous pulse in a song or chant. While listening to your Home CD or singing a song yourself, gently bounce your child in your lap while sitting or in your arms while standing. This is an ideal way to help your child experience the feel of steady beat while staying close to you. Try this with track 2 (Lavender’s Blue), track 13 (Belfast Hornpipe) or choose your own favorite piece of music.
Developing a feel for steady beat is important to your child’s eventual ability to easily use a pair of scissors, bounce a ball, skip, and even to speak with an expressive and natural flow.
Established patterns and routines are important to Baby. Anticipation occurs when Baby associates certain events to other preceding events. Certain visual and aural cues can alert Baby to a familiar pattern.
The sense of smell is strongly linked to memory and plays an important role in Baby’s early learning. Everything in Baby’s world is new and needs to be explored and understood using all the senses. As Baby starts to remember how something feels, or sounds, he begins to understand the physical properties of things around him. This is sensory learning.
“Distributing” instruments is always fun in a Kindermusik Village class! Rather than being interested in taking an instrument for themselves, children of this age are typically more interested in touching everything in the container, in playing with the container and/or lid itself, in toppling everything out and even in putting things back in!
Each child in class is at his own development level. And each child will interact with objects in a way that supports that level and helps him learn more about the physical characteristics of objects– and that means every object at hand! Kindermusik Village is not focused on look-alike activity but on diverse and unique individuals.
Neuroscience found that touching and caressing Baby seems to help moderate production of a hormone affecting the body’s reaction to stress. Abnormal levels of the hormone have been linked to changes in a part of the brain involved with learning and memory.
“Periods before the first words are spoken are marked by a type of babbling that repeats syllables over and over, as in dadadada. This is called echolalia. Infants seem to echo to themselves and others…it is felt that babbling gives the child the opportunity to use and control the mouth, throat, and lung muscles.” Early Childhood Experiences in Language Arts by Jeanne M. Machado
Babies love to put things in their mouth-but not to eat them. Around the baby’s mouth, lips, and tongue are sensory receptors. Baby is exploring and discovering the object.
Baby can communicate in a social interaction by gesturing a hello sign such as waving, blowing a kiss, or smiling even before the word hello is spoken.