A Letter to Parents on Music and Movement

•    We give the children colored scarves and paper streamers to use as they move to the music.
•    We play musical instruments, some of which are homemade.
•    We use chants to help us get through the daily routines, such as clean-up time.
•    We have a comfortable listening center with a wide variety of tapes for children to listen to on their own.


What You Can Do at Home


You don't have to be musical to enjoy music with your child. Taking a few minutes to sit together and listen to music can provide a welcome break for both of you. Also, the music you share with your child doesn't have to be only "kid's music." It can be rap, reggae, country, jazz, classical, or any music you like. Here are some ideas for enjoying music and movement with your child: 
•    Children love a song or chant about what they are doing at the moment, especially when it uses their name. While pushing your child on a swing, you might chant, "Swing high, swing low, this is the way that Julie goes." The child likes this because it is about her and what she is doing, and the rhythm matches her movements.
•    Songs and finger plays help keep children involved at tough times, such as during car or bus trips, while waiting in line, or while grocery shopping.
•    Chanting or singing also helps at times when your child needs to switch gears and start picking up toys, getting ready to go outside, undressing for a bath, and so on. You might try a chant such as, "water is filling up the tub..." or "picking' up a toy and put it on the shelf..." (to the tune of "This Is The Way We Wash Our Clothes").
•    Musical instruments can easily be made or improvised at home. You (or your child) may already have discovered cooking pots and lids make wonderful instruments. We have directions for making a variety of musical instruments from household objects such as empty oatmeal containers, paper plates, and buttons. We'd be delighted to share these ideas with you - just ask us!


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