Summer’s longer days and warmer weather reminds us to mellow out and slow down the pace of our hectic lives. This is the season for “capture the flag” and “capture the moment” and Kindermusik is here to help you make memories.
Try some of these engaging activities for age-appropriate fun you’ll want to do together again and again.
For Your BABY (newborn – 18 months)
Lie on the floor with your baby–on your tummies and face each other. While singing the song Where Is Buggy? (to the tune of Where is Thumpkin?), make your fingers wiggle and crawl like a bug on the floor toward your baby. Let your fingers appear and then disappear. Encourage your baby to creep toward and reach for your wiggling fingers. As she attempts to move forward, she may twist her body, pulling with her arms and pushing with her legs. Creeping may be one of your baby’s first locomotor movements.
For Your TODDLER (1.5 – 3 years)
One of the most wonderful gifts summer brings is getting to enjoy nature and the outdoors with your family from the first light of dawn, well into evening hours. As you enjoy your outdoor time, help your child be an attentive listener – taking in, identifying and describing the sounds that surround him.
When you wander along the beach, through the woods or your own backyard, you can create wonderful listening games that toddlers love. For instance, listen for the croak of tree frogs, the chirp of crickets, the rush of wind, the roll of thunder, or the pitter pat of rain. You might say, “I hear a sound. Listen. Can you hear it? What does it sound like to you? What do you think is making that sound? Is it a soft or loud sound? Is it high or low?”
Not only will your toddler relish this creative exploration, he’ll also develop the listening skills so critical to success in preschool and beyond.
For Your PRESCHOOLER (3 – 5 years)
As you sit in the hammock, on the porch swing or on your picnic blanket together, invite preschoolers to join you in reading a favourite book. Develop their pre-reading skills by encouraging their participation in the story.
As you read, ask them specific questions about the characters, their motivations and emotions. Try leaving out key words or phrases as you read the story, allowing children to “help” by contributing missing words.
For Your Big Kid (5 years and up)
By around age five, children have become very socially aware and typically enjoy interacting in groups. The next time your big kid has friends over, try this creative game focused on listening, movement, vocabulary building and creative expression — with a dose of gentle competition as well.
Have the kids stand in a large room or in the yard. Call out words describing a specific kind of movement in a briskly paced series such as: “Fly angrily”, “kick strongly”, “soar dreamily”, “shake happily”, “skip musically”, etc, etc. Praise their interpretations and creativity. After you’ve led one round, let the kids take turns calling out their own descriptive movement commands.