Charlie’s Cues: Incorporating Music and Movements

by Chalimar Ríos

Children’s development is highly dependent upon their environment. How much are the children in your care exposed to music, language, movement, or exercising freely? A balanced variety of activities that include songs and movements is sure to increase children’s attention, help them socialize with peers, and prepare them to learn and be more perceptive in future activities throughout the day.

Other than the physical benefits of enjoying songs with movements or exercise, research shows that songs and rhymes help children’s language development. As children listen to instructions given during physical activities, they build a relationship between the words they hear and the movements they see; they make meaning of the words as they imitate movements or create new ones. Through songs and rhymes, children also learn sounds, syllables, and musical patterns. Children will slowly continue to store their experiences until they feel prepared to say their own words, repeat the words in a rhyme, build short sentences, or sing along.

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Celebrating New Year’s

by Cora Miller

New Year’s Eve will be celebrated soon. How do you explain what the holiday is all about to young children? Keep your explanation simple. Explain that New Year’s Eve is a holiday that celebrates the end of one year and the beginning of another. Parties and celebrations are held all across the country to welcome the new year! Show the children a calendar from this year and one for next year, if possible. Have fun ringing in the New Year with some of the following activities for young children:

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Singing Through the Day

by Judy Mullican

Singing and Clapping During Circle TimeSongs and young children go together like cake and ice cream! I once asked a mother of young children if she thought her children were ready to learn a certain concept. She told me, “They can learn anything if you put it in a song.” There’s a lot of truth to that! Just think how easily children learn advertising jingles they hear only a few times!

There are many ways you can use songs to make your day go more smoothly. Here are a few ideas:

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Celebrate Grandparents!

by Cora Miller

Grandma and Grandpa, Nana and Papa, or whichever names your family uses for grandparents, are very special people. Warm hugs, sweet treats, and lots of love are just a few of the great things grandparents offer to us. Some of my fondest memories as a child include being spoiled by my grandparents. My siblings and I had sleepovers at their house, received new toys, had candy and ice cream treats (probably not approved by Mom and Dad), and we were always laughing and smiling!

Visit with children about the role their grandparents play in their lives. Keep in mind each child’s situation; some children may not have grandparents, or may not have regular contact with them. In that case, adapt these ideas to celebrate any other special adults in the child’s life. Here are some fun ways to honor and celebrate Grandparents Day:

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