Do babies need expensive toys?

I don’t know about you, but I can’t resist buying those gorgeous, brightly-coloured toys for new babies. They always look so appealing! But invariably, certainly with my own two children, they are not the most popular. Somehow, most bubs and toddlers I know seem to love playing with ordinary, everyday items. Think tissue boxes, tupperware containers, and remote controls (how do they know these are so important from such a young age?! They watch their grown-ups, that’s how!!)

Babies learn through play. It it their way of learning about the world, through exploration and investigation. Exploring objects through various action schemes (mouthing, shaking, tapping, throwing, dropping, reaching etc) allows Baby to discover what he or she needs to know about an object. What does it taste like? What does it sound like? How does it move? Can I make it move or behave differently? When you see your baby exploring an object like this, you are seeing the little scientist at work.

Babies love to explore new objects.

Babies love to explore new objects.

So this week, provide your baby with a safe household object that they haven’t explored before. Think about plastic kitchen items, paper bags, different types of material. Before you give it to your baby, think about the various ways he typically explores objects; decide how you think he will interact with this object. Then put it down on the floor in front of him, and see if you were right!

In Kindermusik classes, we regularly include object exploration activities to facilitate this type of learning and to give parents lots of different ideas to take away with them. Come and try a class with your little one this term!

 

Advertisements
Happy Holidays from Kindermusik by Beth

Make it a musical, TOGETHER Christmas!

The summer holidays are the perfect time to take a few minutes here and there to de-stress, make a memory, and enjoy all that the holidays were meant to be. Here are a few ideas and resources to get you started.

Merry Christmas!

Favourite Christmas-themed books (teacher-tested and kid-approved!)

  • Wombat Divine by Mem Fox
  • Christmas Wombat by Jackie French
  • Aussie Jingle Bells by Colin Buchanan

These books should be available at your local council library, or check www.booktopia.com.au or www.bookdepository.com

 

Favourite music for Christmas in Australia

I found some lovely YouTube videos of Australian Christmas songs for you to have a look at.

Family activities to bring a smile and create a memory!

  • Pretend Sleigh Ride: Play Jingle Bells (or any other lively music). Pull a laundry basket with a sturdy rope or slide it around, with your child in it. Add bells to the side of the basket to get the full effect.
  • Pots and Pans Play-Along: Get out some wooden spoons and some pots and pans. Play along to your favourite Christmas music!
  • Water Play: In this hot weather, anything with water is fun for adults and kids alike! Some ideas – using a spray bottle filled with water to spray each other, make wet footprints on the driveway, run in the sprinkler, use a paint brush and a bucket of water to paint pictures on the concrete path.
  • Bubbles: Anyone who’s come to my classes knows what a big fan of bubbles I am. I personally believe if everyone played with bubbles it would lead to world peace! Get out your bubble blowers this holidays and let loose!

Happy Holidays from Kindermusik by Beth

I hope that you and your families have a very safe and happy festive season!

Cheers,

Beth

Musical gifts and books for Christmas

If anyone is looking for musical gift ideas for your little ones (or others), or great children’s books from the Kindermusik units, check out the list here.

Instrument and Book Items for Order – Term 4 2014.

If you’d like to order anything, just contact me by November 21st and it will definitely be here well in advance of Christmas.

Give the gift of music

Of course, the other option is giving someone a gift certificate for Kindermusik by Beth lessons (in The Gap, Brisbane). If you’re interested in doing this for loved one, just contact me to discuss.

 

 

For Big Kids: The Importance of Vocal Play

Through vocal play, children learn to form vowels and consonants, say words and phrases, and imitate rhythm and vocal inflection.  Vocal play using glissando (a glide from one pitch to another, up or down) also encourages the expressive qualities of your child’s speaking and singing voice as well as vocal range.

Have a listen to a child experimenting with glissando vocal play here.

Easy At-Home Activity for Vocal Play
Take it outside! Go to the park together and practise glissando. Go uuuuuuuup the steps and dooooooown the slide. This can work on an elevator, escalator, or even walking up and down a hill, too. Pairing the concept of high/low with a movement increases your child’s understanding.

Did you know that vocal play allows children to practice the precise coordination of lips, tongue, and breathing necessary to speak words? Read more about it here.

 

For Babies: Relax, Relax, Relax

Babies are learning machines! Your child’s most rapid period of growth and development occurs during the first two years of life. They are taking in new information all the time, through all of their senses, and this requires a lot of energy. As a result it’s important for these little learners to have quiet times, to just be aware without actively being stimulated by you or his/her environment.

Relaxation is a learned behaviour. So like anything, it needs to be practised. Music helps children, even babies, learn to relax. An added bonus is that children who know how to relax and self-soothe can be better sleepers. That’s an incentive to start practising relaxation from an early age if I ever heard one!

Quiet time for baby

Quiet rocking with your baby is a wonderful form of relaxation for both of you.

Read about some suggestions for how to help your baby practise relaxation.

For Toddlers: Go for a Sound Walk

Did you know, that when your child starts primary school, she will spend an estimated 50 to 75 percent of classroom time listening to the teacher, to other students, or to media? Listening skills provide the foundation for all aspects of language and reading development.

In Kindermusik, we help your child develop active listening skills that she needs for later school success.That’s why along with singing, dancing, and instrument exploration, children gather around to listen to the sounds of the bath, an elephant, cat, or other specially chosen sounds. Your child is learning to understand and make meaning out of the sound. In other words, she is learning how to be an active listener. (That doesn’t mean her “listening ears” won’t fall off when you ask her to pick up her toys!)

Kindermusik Listening

Toddlers enjoying a listening experience

Everyday connection – Go for a Sound Walk

Ask your child what he hears. Does he hear the cockatoos flying overhead? What about the baby crying in the park? Is that a motorbike or a car he can hear? Point out sounds you hear and see if he can hear them, too.

How music helps listening skills