Look Ma! I’ve got hands!
I love the complete wonder and awe in babies chubby little faces when they discover something new. When babies are this small, their growth and development is happening at such a rapid pace – don’t blink because you might miss something! – even thought I see them every week the changes that can occur over just six days is unbelievable. In just one week I have witnessed these little ones can go from size a to size b, from blank stares to ear to ear smiles, from sheepish grins to full on laugher, from supporting their head during tummy time to rolling over, from rolling to sitting, from sitting to scooting, from scooting to crawling. It’s amazing to be able to see these changes and a blessing to be a part of and share these milestones with them and their parents.
My Cuddle & Bounce parents and their littlies – the youngest just 4 months! – have been exploring a unit the past two weeks called Zoom Baby.
Bumpity-bump, zippity-zoom, babies are on the go! This unit is packed with move-move-movement, as spatial development takes focus. Activities that explore distance, speed, placement, reaching, dancing, rocking, bouncing, and wheels-on-the-bus-ing all get baby zoom-zoom-zooming to big smiles in Zoom Baby
Lesson Focus: Spatial Development
Do you remember learning how to drive a car? Figuring out how to safely merge into traffic, learning the speed at which to take a curve, and even mastering (gulp!) parallel parking took practice. You needed to familiarize yourself with the size and shape of your vehicle, learn how to maneuver all the necessary gadgets, and figure out how close you car was to others on the road. Driving takes a keen sense of spatial awareness, which is the ability to be mindful of where you are in space and to see two or more objects in relation to each other and to yourself.
Although they’re not quite ready for their driver’s licenses, babies are learning how to “drive” and control their bodies—and spatial awareness helps them, too. In Kindermusik, when you hold your baby “up in the sky” during the circle dance, interact with moving balls during tummy time, or even play with scarves, your baby gains a greater understanding of his body and how it relates to his surroundings. The music and movement activities in Kindermusik help your child begin to grasp concepts such as distance, speed, placement (over, under, behind, etc.), and even gravity.
Everyday Connection: Space (Awareness) Cadet. Any time of the day is the perfect time to support your child’s spatial development. So go ahead, put on some music, pick up your baby, and ziggy-zag-zoom around the house, down the street, or in front of the bathroom mirror. Your little space cadet will gain a greater sense of spatial awareness while you get a few extra snuggles and smiles!
Scaffolding: you probably already use it, and if you don’t this is why you should
Last week we began a new unit in our Wiggle & Grow family style class…
Up and at ’em! Use your imaginations to hit the town: Down the street to the bake shop, the cobbler’s shop, the grocery store, and even the doctor’s office as we move, move, move through our busy, busy day. Then, back home again to relax and get ready for bed. Come along for a great adventure as we Rhyme Around Town!
The Lesson Focus: Scaffolding
There is a reason children start out small. Changing diapers and clothes, strapping into car seats, bathing, feeding, sleeping (or not): It’s a steep learning curve for new parents! For many of us, it’s only after surviving that first year (and every year thereafter) that we recognize how much we learned along the way—and how much more we have to learn! Thankfully, as we built on what the previous day taught us, we gained both skills and confidence in our parenting abilities.
In Kindermusik, we call this learning process “scaffolding.” Each week in class, we support your child’s learning by building on your child’s current abilities and nourishing your unique role as your child’s first and best teacher. Scaffolding involves varying the level of the activity depending upon your child’s responses. So each week in class scaffolding occurs when you investigate together different ways to mend shoes with rhythm sticks or when you follow your child’s lead on how to move with the scarves on “Sing a Ling” while also offering suggestions based on the original idea. As with your parenting abilities, scaffolding helps your child gain both skills and confidence.
Everyday Connection: “Scaffolding Seuss.” During story time, use scaffolding techniques to support your child’s emerging literacy skills. Point out letters, label the pictures, ask your child questions about what is happening or encourage your child to make predictions about what will happen next or even after the book ends. Let your child’s responses guide the conversation.