3 Ways Kids Unknowingly Learn Math through Music

Playing music improves math skills for young childrenResearchers, scientists, and teachers have long recognized the link between music and math, but the benefits seemed to be long-term – later when children were learning math in school.  The exciting reality is that even very young children are unknowingly learning math as they participate in early childhood music and movement classes.

#1 – Geometry

Children develop important foundations in geometry through circle dances, plays instruments, and moving body in different ways. Movement combined with words and labels like “in and out,” “up and down,” or “around and through” are helping build the spatial awareness and spatial-temporal reasoning skills that are fundamental to geometry, as well as a child’s future potential career as an engineer, a scientist, a math teacher, or even an athlete.

#2 – Patterns

Music and math are both full of patterns.  Out of simple rhymes, chants, and games of pat-a-cake grows an ability to understand and manipulate patterns of big and small blocks. Moving in a different way for each section of music helps children begin to identify through movement the parts (or patterns) that make up the whole. Listening for and responding to short patterns in music also expands a child’s understanding of the patterns in math.

#3 – Numbers

Many children’s counting rhymes, singing songs, and enjoying fingerplays that are a part of an early childhood music curriculum like Kindermusik include numbers.  Getting “two instruments” from the instrument basket or counting steps in a circle dance combine  music and early math concepts. Through these activities, children gain valuable early exposure to basic math skills like counting, sequencing, and one-to-one correspondence.

The science and research backs it up. Children will be stronger mathematicians if they are engaged in music making at a young age. Music and movement classes are great preparation for success in math – not just listening to music but actually playing and making music!

Find out how Kindermusik classes can give your child experiences rich with mathematics-learning opportunities at www.Kindermusik.com.

 

Music Gets Kids into the Rhythm of Back-to-School

Baby with instrumentThere is nothing routine about a routine. In fact, we think routines get a bad rap. After all, people often refer to routines as being “stuck in a rut” or “same old, same old” or even boring with a capital B. However, from a child’s perspective, routines are anything but boring and can be especially beneficial during the back-to-school season.

Routines help children predict the future and feel safe and secure. Pair a routine with a ritual and children receive the added benefits of continuity and connectedness. For example, giving a child the same instruments to play with while you get a snack together each day, let’s the child know that it’s almost time to eat something yummy.

During the back-to-school periods of childhood, routines help ease children through transition periods, whether it’s adjusting to a new teacher, a new school, or even navigating through a growth spurt, which somehow always coincide with a new school year. The best time to introduce children to routines and rituals is NOW.

Turn up the music during routines and rituals and you will never use the word boring again when referring to routines! Try these tips for adding music into the back-to-school routine.

6 Ways to Add Music into the Routine and Get Kids into the Rhythm of Back-to-School

1. Wake children up or welcome them to the classroom by singing a favorite song or by listening to a playlist with songs about the morning time. “Morning Sun Has Risen” is one of our favorites. Take a listen (and look):

Morning Sun Has Risen

2. The rhythm of the morning routine naturally lends itself to a little musical play. Sing songs or chants about getting dressed, brushing teeth, eating breakfast, or even getting in the car to go to school.

3. On the drive to school, listen to music and sing along! Children will begin to look forward to this special ritual in the morning. Download this free Kindermusik road trip playlist.

4. For teachers, add music throughout the day to let children know it is time to clean up for recess, to mark the beginning of circle time, or even to get the class ready to walk down the hallway. We love how this teacher uses music to remind children how to be quiet in the hallway.

5. Add music to the nightly routine to help children recognize that the day is over and it is time to settle down for bed. Make a “quiet music” playlist and start playing it right after dinner or just before bathtime. Helping children settle and fall asleep carries over into the morning routine. A well-rested child is easier to get moving than a sleepy one.

6. Reading to children 20 minutes a day makes a significant impact on their early language and literacy development. When added to the night time routine, the right book can help a child get the wiggles out or calmly relax a child. Need some reading suggestions? Add a few musical books from the Kindermusik Pinterest Board ~ Books for Kids We Love to the nightly reading routine.

7. Sing a lullaby while tucking a child into bed to signal the end of the routine. You can even rock and sway back and forth together for a little extra cuddle!

Find out more about Kindermusik at www.Kindermusik.com.

Why every baby should learn sign language

Sign language is one of the many ways in which adults can engage babies and young toddlers on their paths to learning language. Sign language is unique because, when paired with words, it makes language learning a multisensory experience. Signing comes naturally to babies and toddlers, and it comes with a host of other benefits as well.

8 reasons why every baby should learn sign language:

  1. Signing allows baby to engage as an active participant in the learning environment.
  2. Using signs can reduce or eliminate baby’s frustration at not being able to communicate.
  3. Signing makes learning to speak even easier.
  4. Learning to sign stimulates intellectual development.
  5. Success with signing nurtures baby’s self-esteem and self-confidence.
  6. Since signing often requires eye contact, it helps children focus, an important skill in cultures in which children are often overloaded with various stimuli.
  7. Signing strengthens the bond between parent and child.
  8. Using sign language empowers parents because they know they are providing their children with an invaluable additional communication tool.

Watch as this little communicator shows off some of the impressive sign language skills he learned in Kindermusik class!

little boy showing off signs learned at Kindermusik

Find out more about how Kindermusik can help your baby communicate earlier and easier at www.Kindermusik.com.

Why Kids Blur the Line between Work and Play

Play is the work of childhood.

 

 


So why DO kids blur the line between work and play?
  Because play IS their work!  Play is the most important activity of early childhood.  So even when it looks like a child is “just” playing, there’s really some serious learning and developing happening as a result of the play.

Music and movement activities are perfect for inspiring a child’s play, not just in Kindermusik class but also at home, because musical activites:

  • encourage children to think creatively and “out of the box”
  • give children many opportunities for open-ended exploration
  • use usual objects in unusual ways (i.e., a plastic hair curler that becomes a pull toy)
  • invite children to use their imaginations
  • stimulate expressive skills
  • incorporate pretend play

Children will engage in play in different ways at their different stages of development.  Here’s a quick overview so that you know what to expect as you observe your child at play.

Stages of Play

Find out more about how Kindermusik helps children play at www.Kindermusik.com

Shared by Theresa Case who has an award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in beautiful upstate South Carolina

How Pizza, Pickle, & Pumpernickel Help Kids Learn How to Read

bigstock_Baby_Girl_Clapping_Hands_724132The steady diet beat of “Pizza, Pickle, Pumpernickel” helps children learn how to read. Of course, we are talking about the children’s nursery rhyme, not the food! Being able to move the entire body to a steady beat contributes to the ability to speak and read fluidly. In fact, children who can keep a steady beat independently score higher on reading assessments.

In this lap bounce version from Kindermusik@Home, even the youngest children can experience steady beat throughout their entire bodies. The more children experience steady beat with the help of a grown-up, the more likely they will be able to keep a steady beat independently. This steady beat activity works for older children, too. Try clapping hands to the beat or bouncing a favorite stuffed animal. As an added bonus to this music activity for kids, fingerplays improve and advance memory and language skills by linking motions to words.

So, go ahead and order in some “Pizza, Pickle, Pumpernickel”!

Kindermusik@Home

Find out more about Kindermusik at www.Kindermusik.com.

Contributed by Lisa Camino Rowell, a freelance writer living in the Atlanta area.