We have lots to say about the importance of what we do...
In our dance classes for babies, tykes, and toddlers, we are purposeful about what and how we teach our little ones. We know young, rapidly-developing brains learn best when presented with extreme opposites which is why we've chosen a conceptual approach to movement learning. In all levels of the Intellidance class (there's a level for the 0-1 age group, 1-2 age group, and 2-4 age group), we explore concepts including speed, size, levels, and body parts and we do this through using movement activities, music instrument play, and sensory props. This play-based approach allows children to learn through all learning styles, kinesthetic, auditory, and visual in a way that is natural and most engaging to them.
The above video from our "Little Beats From Home" collection explores SPEED! We love exploring speed at Little Beats as there are SO many awesome activities when it comes to contrasting fast and slow with creative movement and music. We also love speed because the practice of controlling our movements based on what we hear helps us develop rhythm, self-regulation, and prediction and anticipation skills. Rhythm is vital to everything we do as humans be it speaking language, walking, breathing. Self-regulation is a vital emotional skill that enables us to process our strong feelings and control our behavior in appropriate ways. Prediction and anticipation starts in infancy and continues through life! From babyhood, children are nothing short of little scientists and thrive on opportunities to make guesses and test outcomes. Using movement and their bodies is the first way they begin! This sets the stage for a childhood of problem solving, logical thinking, and a lifetime of discovery.
So, while what we do in Little Beats class is certainly fun and entertaining, know that it is SO much more than that for your child. As a caregiver, you want your child to thrive. To reach their potential in all developmental areas. And so do we! Knowing how critical the first 3 years of life is for their brain and body, you can rest assured that our classes are the best first stop for your growing baby or toddler. Enjoy this video class about speed from home with your child and we hope to see you in class soon!
Teamwork is a skill that your young child's teachers and coaches are introducing in a group setting, but how do we hone in on that skill at home? Dancing together is just one way to reinforce this concept at home!
Here are some ideas:
In early childhood (0-4), a child's brain complete's 90% of its development for life. That's a lot of stuff to figure out (aka neural pathways to be built) in a super short period of time. Especially in the first 2 years, a baby's body and brain develop in tandem. Physical milestones support cognitive milestones and vise versa. There is a very intentional reason for every milestone a child hits (to learn more, check out "Your Self Motivated Baby" by Beverly Stokes). Nature has planned out every nitty gritty detail of the precise developmental journey from babyhood to becoming an upright, functional, high-level-thinking member of society though each in their own unique way.
People often underestimate how much babies are learning and doing at any given time as a learning baby can often be slow moving, quiet, or even asleep! But I assure you, if your baby's brain was a real-live show, it would be a blaring concert with a symphony of sounds, special-effect lighting, choreography, and pyrotechnics. This is why we call upon YOU- parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, babysitters, teachers, the whole village- to give your baby the support and environment they need to explore and grow.
Moving every day and in every way, brings awareness to the brain and sensory system in ways babies are not able to stimulate independently. As they experience more sensations, they are more interested in exploring, the more they explore, the more they learn, the more they grow! (For more on this, check out "A Moving Child is A Learning Child")
SO, the tip of the day is to get your baby moving in lots of different ways with our without music. This video will get you started, enjoy this and many other Little Beats babies classes from home on our Youtube Channel, Little beats from Home.
There's a secret to reaping the benefits from baby sign without overwhelming yourself. ONLY LEARN the useful ones! Just a few key signs go a long way in empowering your baby to communicate, mitigating frustration/ tantrums, and boosting your child's language learning. The foundation for language and communication starts in infancy and there is so much for your baby's brain to figure out before they start verbal speaking. We also know language skills feed into critical future abilities including empathy, creativity, and memory. As their favorite caregiver and teacher, YOU CAN HELP THEM ROCK THIS!
Playtime is an optimal time for learning when your child is happy, interactive, and eager to communicate. This is the perfect opportunity to sign with baby. Note, you need to teach them the signs by signing yourself for weeks or even months before they develop the skills to sign back at you. It's best to sign to your baby starting at 5 or 6 months and if you do so consistently and often, you can expect to see them signing by 8-10 months old or sooner!
In this short video, Emily will teach you signs that come in handy at play time:
Best of luck and contact Emily if you ever have questions! firstname.lastname@example.org