Are you ready for the new school year and your new students? There’s a flurry of new people and new experiences, which are exciting but may be overwhelming. It’s not unusual for some children to be apprehensive. Most children enjoy music and movement activities. As the year begins, these activities can help calm fears, engage the children and be a way to introduce them to one another. If your program is play-based or child-centered, there are many opportunities to use music and movement to not only “break the ice,” but also enhance your curriculum.
Play – whether building with blocks, painting, dressing up, throwing a ball or jumping – is known to develop many skills. Eye-hand coordination, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving, social skills and cognitive development are known to increase with play. Incorporating music and movement into your play-based curriculum provides a wealth of benefits along with a lot of fun!
Songs, especially those developed intentionally, are classroom-tested and proven, can contribute to vocabulary development and physical development. (Learning Basic Skills Through Music and Movement, Vol. 4 – Vocabulary) A song about fast and slow, where children respond and move accordingly, gives kids a concrete understanding of the concepts. (Walter the Waltzing Worm )
Songs can help children learn the names of body parts, the alphabet (Silly Willy Moves Through the ABCs) and numbers (Math Readiness). Fingerplays develop fine motor skills critical to writing. (Fingerplays and Footplays)
Music and movement can provide a social opportunity. Songs that explore feelings, getting along with others and sharing help young children identify emotions and develop social skills. (Getting to Know Myself)
In most songs developed for the classroom, the notes and beats are patterned. As children listen to the music, they intuitively learn the patterns – an important math skill.
Songs aid ELL students’ language acquisition while developing and reinforcing skills for ALL children.
Music and songs developed for early learning can easily be incorporated into your daily lessons. Most children have a natural joy for music. Why not let them explore music as part of your play-based learning program?