Friday, April 22, 2011

Games for Enjoying Music with Children

Children of all ages express themselves through music. Even at an early age children sway, bounce, and move their hands in response to the music they hear.

Here are two games for enjoying music with your children.

1. Pretend to be a little seed just planted in the ground.
2. Water the little seed.
3. Let the sun shine on the little seed.
4. Sing the scale and pretend to grow as the music goes up.
5. Singing the scale means: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do....just like in the song "Doe a deer, a female deer."
6. When you come to the last note in the scale, say "Look, now I'm a beautiful flower!"

1. Sit on the floor with your child and do what the words say.
2. Sing to the tune of "London Bridge."
Now it's time to touch our nose
Touch our nose, touch our nose
Now it's time to touch our nose
My fair (child's name)

Now it's time to blink our eyes
Now it's time to touch our toes
Now it's time to shake our feet
Now it's time to stand up tall
Now it's time to sit back down

Monday, April 11, 2011

Set the Stage for Future Learning

The games in this section are designed for parents, grandparents and all adults who want to nurture their toddlers mentally as well as emotionally. Each game involves simple words, movements and interactions that cultivate one or more of the basic skills --language, thinking, social and physical manipulation -- that set the stage for all future learning.

This game will keep your toddler occupied in the car and develop her language skills.
1. Draw a face on each of your child's thumbs with a felt tip marker.
2. Name the thumb puppets so that you can talk to them. "Hello, funny face," or "How are you, Billy?"
3. As you drive, talk to the thumb puppets. Your toddler can talk back to you or just move his thumbs up and down in reply.
4. Here are some things that you can say to the puppets.
"Do you see that red car?"
"Look at the beautiful trees."
"Red light stop, green light go."
5. Ask the puppets to join you in singing a familiar song like "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."
6. Play for three to five minutes

This game will help your child recognize colors for visual and vocabulary development.
1. Take your toddler on a color walk through your house. Select a certain color toy and take
it with you.
2. Find one or two objects in each room that are the same color as the toy you are carrying.
3. Talk about what you've found. For example, "Bobby's yellow shirt is the same color as your yellow ball," or "My blue blouse is the same color as your blue block."
4. Another variation of this game is to carry a laundry basket around, collecting toys and other objects of the same color.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Essential Ingredient in Infant Care

The most essential ingredient in infant care is a warm, responsive, and dependable adult caregiver. Try to spend lots of time holding, cuddling, and playing with the infants in your care. You will be richly rewarded with babbles, smiles, and squeals of laughter.

Here are are two games to play that help an infant’s neurons connect to parts of the brain that develop confidence and trust. Recommended for 3-6 month old infants.

NUGGLE NOSE1. Hold your baby in the air and say, “Nose, nose, nuggle nose.”
2 On the word “nuggle,” bring him down and touch your nose to his.
3. Keep repeating this game touching noses on the word “nuggle.”4. After you have played this a few times, say the word “nuggle” more than one time, always touching noses on the word “nuggle.”5. For example, say “nuggle, nuggle, nuggle, nose.”
Gently touching your baby will make him feel secure and safe, enabling him to become confident and, eventually, independent.

1. Hold onto baby’s fingers and gently lift baby’s arms as you say the following rhyme:
Going up the escalator
Up, up, up.
Going down the escalator
Down, down, down.

2. Lift your baby’s legs and say the rhyme.
3. Continue lifting different parts of your baby’s body, saying the rhyme each time.
4. Try ending with lifting him up in the air and down.
5. Always give a kiss on the down part.

Loving attachments help babies develop trust.