A child is marching to music. Another child is holding a rhythm stick in each hand and is tapping them together first loudly, then softly. Another child is sailing a bright purple scarf into the air and watching it fall to the ground. A mama holding her baby dances around a room filled with parents and their babies all saying “slow, slow, quick, quick, quick” in rhythm to music playing. Each of these children and their parents are in a Kindermusik class. And each of the childrens’ developing brains are highly active, taking in and learning all kinds of information, sorting, interpreting, classifying, and filing.

Learning and movement are connected in so many ways for children. For instance, a child learning something new, like a new word, can absorb the sound of the word and the tone of the person saying the word. If they hear the word and are able to move in a way that helps them understand the word as well­—for instance, moving fast as they hear the word, “fast”— their learning is going to be more thorough than if someone tried to explain the word to them or if their learning came from only observation. In addition, the human brain thrives on physical movement. Movement activates the whole brain which facilitates learning and processing.

In Kindermusik class we do plenty of labeling. We move to music and label our movements: up, down, march, wave, twirl, scamper. We encourage families to use our movement chart to help inspire them to find their own ways to move. We especially encourage parents to follow the child, using the child’s movements and curiosity to bring the parent closer to their child’s world.

An older leftover container and a spoon can be a wonderful source for exploration. Watch your child as he or she discovers how many different sounds they can make or different ways the spoon and container can be banged or tapped together. They use their hands or their feet, bring another toy into the mix, put a blanket over them and put the spoon “to sleep.” Maybe they’ll get some blocks and put them in the container and dump them out again. All these activities are different approaches of discovery for your child.

A child given the opportunity to learn through movement can explore in their own way and their own time. They can use all of their senses and their whole body to explore and discover new concepts and learning. Movement also means that their whole brain and nervous system are working explore and learn about the big, glorious world around them.

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