Thursday, August 21, 2008

LITTLE WONDERS

Aren't they though? Children are just little wonders. I find myself smiling at them without even thinking about it. They make me laugh, whether it is by their smile or something funny they say. The way they switch meanings and words around can be hysterical.

We did 2 demos today and it was a ball. They were both very small, but full of fun. We had 2 "babies" today that smiled when we sang and so enjoyed all the different movements we put them through.

Then we did a Family Time class with 4 boys and 1 girl. They were everywhere; exploring, playing instruments, checking out everything they saw! I never get tired of the wonder of children. Just when I think I've heard every idea, here comes another one.

When was the last time you sat back and enjoyed the "wonder" that is your child? Have you ignored the mess they are making and just watched them explore? Have you seen the wonder in their eyes as they notice something for the first time?

Take the time to sing and dance with your child. Watch the sparkle in their eyes! It is awesome! Don't miss a minute!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

SING YOUR BABY TALK

Even before your baby is born, she responds to the sound of your voice. Researchers have observed that babies in the womb as early as five months will respond to the sound of a mother’s certain vowels with a kick or a wave.

Later, when your baby is born, you’ll naturally talk to her in a sing-song language called “motherese,” or “parentese.” Research shows that this language is one of the first sounds your baby tries to imitate with cooing and babbling.

Studies have also pinpointed the musical notes that children can most easily recognize and imitate. So mix up your language-building parentese with singing, regular talking, and rhymes, and your baby will be exposed to a variety of sounds.

Kindermusik tips:

Your baby: In the first year, your baby is more interested in listening to the sound of you singing. So choose songs that you love, hold her close, and dance with her.
Your toddler: Simple songs that go back and forth from two notes—called the sol-mi interval—are easiest for toddlers to repeat. Songs with this interval include: “Rain, Rain, Go Away,” and “Starlight, Starbright.”
Your preschooler: Start adding more notes with songs like “Mahna, Mahna,” “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” the “Theme from Star Wars,” “Baa baa, Black Sheep,” “The ABC Song.”

Sunday, August 10, 2008

SUMMER FUN

When the weather is nice, don't let the kids stay inside! Get them out and moving!! One fun summer activity is blowing bubbles. You can blow them yourself or now there are bubble machines that are very affordable. (Right now they are on clearance!) Get one and have a blast in the backyard! Invite some friends and run, run, RUN!

Adults like bubbles too!

Bye, bye bubbles!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

SUMMER PIANO (?) FUN!

What a great time we had this summer in our "Summer Fun Days" activities. Sure we played the piano a little, but not entirely. We spent 3 hours exploring other aspects of music that we don't always get to do during our regular weekly lessons. It was a great time! Check out the slide show!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

From the time your child wakes up in the morning to the time she goes to bed at night, sounds surround her:  Alarm clocks, noises at child care, traffic, and the television.

The ability to focus in on one sound and distinguish it from background noise is different than simply hearing - that's why listening is truly a learned skill.  You can help your child develop the awareness for listening when you spend time with her, give pause and listen to the nuances of sound.  Developing good listening skills is vital to helping your little one learn to follow directions, learn to read, as well as to play an instrument.

Here are some Kindermusik tips:
YOUR BABY:  Sit comfortably  and hold your baby up on your knees so that you're facing each other.  Imitate her facial expressions and sounds.  Give long pauses, allowing her to notice that you're "listening".
YOUR TODDLER:  When you hear an interesting, easily repeatable sound, such as a doorbell, a knock on the door, or footsteps, ask you toddler, "What's that sound?"  Imitate the sound yourself and then ask if she can make the sound, too.
YOUR PRESCHOOLER:  PLAY A SOUND VERSION OF "I spy."  "I hear with my little ear something in the kitchen."  The guesser has to ask questions about the sound then identify the noisemaker.  Or, play "If you can hear me," game:  "If you can hear me, hop on one foot."  The sillier the actions, the more fun the game will be for your preschooler.