• 10 Ways to make Memorable Movement Moments with your Family

    While at Home
  • Just because you are at home doesn’t mean that you can’t make opportunities to learn, play and grow through movement! Our children’s learning environments have changed, but that does not mean the way they learn has changed. We learn best with our whole bodies when we can activate all our senses and developmental pathways. Movement in the classroom is proven to improve self-discipline and motivation, it can boost listening skills and communication and lastly; and most importantly, encourages laughter and fun while learning. So take moments throughout your day for a movement break to refocus, de-stress and have fun. 

    Bubble Play

    Take a moment to stop everything you are doing, play some music and explore bubble play! While playing with bubbles seems like a simple task, bubble play has some major benefits for our child’s development. When a child crawls, walks, runs, jumps or leaps for the bubbles they are building the muscles required for optimum gross motor development. Additionally when a child pops a bubble they are utilizing their tracking skills which is improving their hand-eye coordination and fine motor development. You should also allow your child to blow bubbles as this also requires tracking skills (the ability to place the wand in front of their mouth). The action of blowing the bubbles is strengthening your child’s breath and lung development which will come in handy as they become more active as they grow. Lastly, grasping and manipulating the wand is teaching them how to grasp and manipulate objects; an important skill to continue to develop their fine motor skills. 

    Make your own Marching Band!

    Take a musical break to make your very own home-made marching band! Creating your own instruments can not only be a ton of fun, but it also provides numerous opportunities for tactile sensory play. Make some maracas by putting some dry beans into an empty container. You can have your own set of drums with a pot or pan and wooden spoon. Make some cymbals by tapping two metal spoons together. If you have some empty Easter eggs lying around, you can even make your own egg shakers when you add beads or rice inside. Have fun making that music! 

    Pathway Roads

    If you have some painter’s tape lying around, grab it and make some roadways around your house! In the Dance Exploration program, our students learn 3 primary pathways: Straight, Zig Zag and Circular. Tape your pathways around your home then perform dance movements along the pathways: crawling, tip toe walking, skipping, crab walks, leaps, gallops etc. Repeat the pathway going forwards and backwards in direction. Make it harder by adding random road blocks along the way such as a stuffed animal that has to be leaped over, a tunnel they must crawl through or hula hoop they need to jump inside. Performing gross motor skills along a traveling pathway improves your child’s balance and coordination. Adding obstacles is a great way to teach abstract positional concepts (inside, outside, through, over, on, etc). Adding an obstacle also enhances your child’s problem solving skills as they determine the best way to complete the pathway with the obstacle. 

    Scarf Butterflies

    Grab some scarves (towels or handkerchiefs are great alternatives) and pretend to be butterflies! Flap your wings and fly around the room practicing chassés. Leap over a stuffed animal like your flying over flowers. Land on a spot and hold your leg out behind you in an arabesque like you are sipping nectar from a flower. Practice your breath by seeing if you can make your butterfly fly by blowing on it. Try with a friend! Learning about butterflies is a great way to learn about Space. There are two types of space: Self-Space and General Space. When a butterfly is flying around the garden they are flying in general space. When they land on a flower they are in self-space. Place some spots around the room  to act as your flowers (or grab some sidewalk  chalk and draw some flowers outside). Play some music and fly around your general space like a butterfly. When the music stops, land on a flower and sip some honey! Discuss the different types of space with your child by watching this short video from Dance to Learn

    Butterfly Net Freeze Dance

    Find an object from around the house that can make a fun butterfly net. It could be a hula hoop, a bed sheet, a towel or even a Jump rope! Once you got it, play a fun song that is upbeat. Let your kiddos dance around the room. But when the music stops they must freeze otherwise they will get caught in your Butterfly Net! Freeze dance is a great game to play to teach locomotor (traveling movement) and non-locomotor (stationary movement). When the music plays your butterflies can fly around the room (locomotor) but when the music stops they must freeze (non-locomotor). Additionally the auditory cues that comes from hearing the music playing vs stopping helps children with active listening and learning how to respond appropriately to such cues! 

    Home Made Obstacle Course

    Locate some items from around your home: 

    • Hula Hoops
    • Jump Ropes
    • Pool Noodles
    • Stuffed Animals
    • Traffic Cones
    • Place Mats

    Use your Obstacle Course items to help your child learn about Positional Concepts. Positional Concepts is where your child is in relation to the obstacle for example: 

    Turn inside the Hula Hoop
    Leap Over the Jump Ropes
    March Through the Pool Noodles
    Tip Toe Walk Between the Stuffed Animals
    Crawl Around the Traffic Cones
    Balance On the Place Mats

    Family Yoga Time

    Practicing Yoga with your family has proven to reduce stress, build trust, and form tighter bonds. Yoga promotes relaxation, flexibility, coordination, and strength as well as healthy living. Yoga can also be performed anywhere.. in the garden, at the park, or in your living room. Try some parent and me yoga or sibling and me yoga when ever a break and the day calls for some stretching and relaxation. 

    Teddy Bear Picnic Scavenger Hunt

    Take all of your child’s favorite teddy bears and send them on a picnic by hiding them somewhere in your home. Create multiple treasure maps of your home with locations the child must find. At each check in point, include a task the child must complete to receive their next clue. “Teddy Bears are Jumping for Joy. Show me your best jump!” The check points could also include a riddle. “Teddy Bears love eating this fruit at their picnic. It’s Round, Red and Sweet and when you bite into it, it makes a crunching sound.”When the complete a check point, they get a new part of their treasure map, taking them one step closer to finding their Teddy Bears! When your child finally finds their teddy bear sit down, and have a Teddy Bear Picnic or Tea Party with them! 

    Draw the Music!

    Let your Creative Juices Flow and the Music Move You! Grab some sidewalk chalk and head outside. You can also grab some paper and paints. Play your favorite song, close your eyes and let the music move you! This is a great exercise to explore tempo. Listen to a slow soothing song first, then a fast and upbeat song. Now look at your drawings. How are the similar? How are they different? What do you think was the reason for the contrast? You can also explore tempo with a game of freeze dance art! Dance around when the music plays, then stop the music draw as fast as you can. Play the music and repeat! How did these drawings turn out different? 

    Dance Me a Story™

    Grab your favorite storybook and Re-Enact it with movement and play! In our program we call this Dance Me Story™. Can you retell the story through movement? Discuss how the character may be feeling and dance and act out different emotions. Recreate the plot with an obstacle course and move through it like the character. Draw the character and cut out your drawing and paste on a Popsicle stick and retell the story with puppets! Our favorite books for Dance Me Story™ are our very own Florrie Flamingo Books for Ballet class written by our founder and owner, Jessica Strong! Give them a read for yourself! 

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