Hello everyone, welcome to our June newsletter! As always, we provide an overview of what is happening within our childcare community. This month we will focus on music and movement in childcare settings.
Topic of the month - Music and movement in childcare settings
Before learning to talk and express themselves, children learn with their bodies. They become aware of their limbs and how it can help them reach for things and toys. They learn to roll around, crawl, sit up, reach, and eventually walk. So from the beginning, children are naturally inclined to learn about their environment through movement. Before they can express themselves, movement allows them to flesh out the problem and figure out solutions.Based on this, music gives children a great accompaniment to movement and learning.
In early childhood education, incorporating music and movement into childcare settings is increasingly recognised as a powerful tool for a holistic child development. Australia, with its diverse cultural landscape and rich musical heritage, provides a wide range of musical history and instruments to let children explore their musicality.
How Music and Movement Aids in Child Development
Music stimulates various areas of the brain, promoting cognitive development in young children. Exposure to music aids in language development, memory enhancement, listening skills, and problem-solving skills. Musical activities that involve rhythm and patterns help children develop mathematical skills, spatial-temporal skills and early literacy.
Engaging in movement activities improves children’s motor skills, coordination and overall physical development. Dancing, playing musical instruments, and engaging in rhythmic movements enhance fine and gross motor skills, body awareness, balance and coordination. These activities encourage children to live a healthy, active lifestyle.
Music and movement provide children ways to interact, collaborate, and communicate with their peers and caregivers. Singing and dancing in groups fosters a sense of belonging, cooperation, and teamwork. Through musical activities, children learn to take turns, listen to others, and express themselves creatively. These activities help them come out of their shell and become more socially and emotionally intelligent.
Music has the power to evoke and regulate emotions. Singing, listening, or playing instruments can elicit joy, happiness, and relaxation, promoting emotional well-being in young children. Musical experiences also offer a platform for self-expression, enabling children to explore and communicate their feelings in a safe and supportive environment.
How to Incorporate Music into Daily Routines
Integrating music into daily routines, such as transitions, mealtime, and naptime, can create a positive and stimulating childcare environment. Singing rhymes, songs, or using musical cues during routine activities can make it more enjoyable and engaging for children, promoting active participation.
Musical instruments and props
Providing access to a variety of age-appropriate musical instruments and props encourages children to experiment, create, and explore sounds and movements. Simple instruments like shakers, drums, and xylophones enable children to develop a sense of rhythm, coordination, and auditory skills.
Multicultural music and dance
Australia’s multicultural society has a lot to offer with its rich and varied musical traditions and dances from different cultures. Incorporating multicultural music and dance activities, put in context, exposes children to diverse cultures, encourages inclusivity, and enhances their cultural awareness. Celebrating cultural festivals and inviting musicians from diverse backgrounds can enrich children’s musical experiences.
Parent and community involvement
Involving parents and the wider community in musical activities creates a collaborative and inclusive environment. Organising musical events, inviting parents and community members to share their cultural music or hosting musical performances not only strengthens children’s affinity for musical experiences but also provides children with a broader musical perspective.
Music and movement can play an important role in the holistic development of children. By integrating music and movement into daily routines, organising dedicated sessions, providing access to instruments, and embracing multiculturalism, childcare centres can create an environment that nurtures children’s natural aptitude for music and movement. Through music and movement, early childhood educators can create a joyful and enriching experience for young children, laying the foundation for a lifelong love of music and movement.
0-12 month development
Thousands of unknown viruses discovered in baby poo–why this is not necessarily a bad thing
Author: Evelien Adriaenssens
Before you get concerned, the viruses the scientists in baby poo were bacteriophages, also known as bacteria killers. So while there are harmful viruses, there’s also a lot of helpful ones engaged in eliminating and keeping your little one’s gut microbiome healthy.
How parents feel about feelings can deeply affect a child’s development
Author: Gillian England-Mason
A parent’s emotional climate or the way they feel about feelings makes a large influence and effect on how they teach their children about feelings and emotional regulation. As children grow, parents and their way of dealing with their own feelings affect their parenting behaviour.
Learn more about how a parent’s emotional climate affects child development here.
2-3 year development
How Do Children Learn the Meaning of Words?
Author: Peter Gärdenfors, Ph.D.
As words start to emerge out of toddler babble, you may wonder how do children understand the meaning of words? Children, researchers have found, learn in terms of domains. They categorise words into groups they usually hear and learn about such as animals, colours, fruits, and vehicles. Once a child forms a domain, they can easily learn other words that fall into that category.
Learn more about how children learn, identify, and understand new words in terms of domains here.
3-4 year development
5 Causes of Stuttering in Toddlers, Symptoms and Treatment
Author: Rohit Garoo
As children learn and start to talk, they definitely will go through a disfluency phase which can also look like stuttering. In this article, we go through the definition and symptoms of stuttering and its difference from the normal disfluency phase all toddler go through.
Find more about stuttering, its symptoms, treatment, and prevention in toddlers here.
4-5 year development
These neurons are the reason you yawn when you see others do it – and they could help us teach children more creatively too
Authors: Laura Trujillo Estrada and Agustina Maria Torres Prioris
Scientists have found these mirror neurons that help us learn by imitation and observation. These mirror neurons can help you as a parent or early childhood educator to teach children fine motor skills such as holding crayons or pencils, or using scissors. Understanding observational learning can help you and children learn from one another.
In this experiment, teach preschoolers how to use the scientific method using observation, prediction, counting, labelling, and decision-making skills. An adult will need to halve the apples but the children can continue with the experiment with minimal supervision. It can also be a group activity where one group has the control apple while the other has the test apple.
Put a choco twist on your tea time by having children use the scientific method in analysing what happens to their favourite chocolate drink when mixed into varying temperatures of water. This experiment will use hot water so adult supervision is required.
This is a STEM activity that could be divided into phases just like the moon’s waxing and waning stages. It starts with forming the dough from which you make out the moons. An adult’s help or a kitchen aid dough mixer can be used for speedy kneading. Next is having children mix the glow-in-the-dark paint and last will be the assembly of the moon phases mobile where children can practise their fine motor skills.