It’s like Christmas All Over Again!

Photo by maaco used by Creative Commons License via Flickr

I’ve heard many a Kindermusik teacher say she loves the first week of classes because she feels a little like Santa Claus handing out all of the “presents”! We love it. It’s extra fun when new parents come back the next week and tell me how their children begged to listen to the CD all week long in the car. Even more fun is knowing that we get to send you home with all kinds of tools to inspire you to find fun ways to play together every day.

See, both in and out of class, we believe that YOUR interaction with your child is crucial to his development. That’s the whole reason for At Home Materials. I mean, 45 minutes a week at class is fun, but how much more fun is it if you get extra ideas to use all week long together, in the car, the grocery store, and of course at your house. It’s those special moments together that you share playing and laughing that bond you, help your child reach his developmental potential, and even help him be more cooperative.  (Yes, really, many developmental psychologists advocate playing together as a means of helping your child cooperate.  Sounds like the most fun method of discipline I know.)

So, let’s check out what you can do with some of these cool tools.  Hopefully we’ll give you just a few ideas to get you exploring and playing together, with plenty more to come:

  • Two Home CDs + all those great Downloads Music can set the tone for a day together. Need a pick me up? Put on some fast songs to get going in the morning or to help preschoolers “race” to help cleanup the house. Or, maybe you’re going through one of those days?  You know, a day full of tantrums or moments it’s hard cope? (I do mean for your kiddo, not you by the way.) Try putting on some calming music and snuggling up to rock, or just letting it play gently in the background. You could even make playlists with your digital downloads of class songs for different moods.  “Downloads?” you ask.  Why yes.  In case you missed it, you can download all the songs from your class at no charge on Kindermusik’s Play Site: Just enter the code from the postcard in your materials to get all your music.  If it’s your first time registering, you also get an additional 10 free downloads of your choice, about 1 album’s worth.  Yay!  (There should be more details on a cute postcard in the materials you took home.  If you didn’t get one, ask, and we’ll make sure you do.)
  • Two Literature Books – Reading together helps your child internalize language, literacy, and even rhythm skills, while providing another way to help your child connect more fully both inside and outside of the classroom.  Plus, snuggling up to read together actually releases chemicals in your body that helps you both relax.
  • Activity Ideas – We’ve got lots of playful, musical fun for home: ideas for homemade instruments, toys, or crafts for children of all ages, family circle dances, field trips, pretend play activities, games, and songs to use throughout the day.  You can find them in your Home Activity Guides for the Our Time and Imagine That! classes.  And for all the classes from Village on up, there are tons of ideas for download as well on Kindermusik’s Play Site: They are specific to each unit of class, and you should be able to access them the same way as the music downloads.
  • Instruments – Playing with a steady beat helps your child develop a sense of rhythm as well as the ability to organize and coordinate movements within time. Plus, kiddos who develop a steady beat early on in life have a greater ability to plan and organize thoughts, making them more successful in school.  Everybody gets instruments at Kindermusik! Babies can use their new shakers to explore cause and effect.  “Hey, I made that sound!”  Toddlers can start to match their own internal steady beat as they sing.  Preschoolers are getting better at matching an external steady beat as they play along to a recording.  And remember, there’s no right or wrong way to play these instruments.  Explore, discover, and create together with them!

Age Appropriate Bonuses – Because we know each age and stage needs something a little different, each set of materials is designed to fit the needs of that agegroup.

For Babies and Young Toddlers in the Village Classes – You’ll find a two art banners with four panels of artwork from the literature book, specifically designed to help stimulate distance vision.  For Lap Babies, these are great for tummy time.  Set them up on the floor or even in the crib and let your baby watch the pictures as she plays.  For Crawlers and new Walkers, cut the banners apart and let you Baby play with them as sturdy art cards.  You might even use some of those great self-laminating pages from Target to make them even sturdier (though be careful to make sure there are no sharp, pokey edges.)

For Toddlers in Our Time Classes – We have adorable doghouse boxes you can use all sorts of ways.  Whether they become homes for stuffed animals, boxes for carrying favorite items, or a “garage” for cars and trains, these fun little boxes can be great for pretend play or even to carry things.  What a great way to encourage those blossoming imaginations!

For Preschoolers in Imagine That! Classes – Check out the fun new game.  Games are great for this age.  They foster skills like following directions, turn-taking, and sequencing.  Some studies even suggest that game play may increase intelligence.  Plus, they present you with a new stage of play with your child.  Right now you can start with the matching games, but as we go throughout the semester your child can add new and different variations to tie in with each of our class themes and songs.

So much fun stuff to explore!  It really is like Christmas all over again.

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One Response to “It’s like Christmas All Over Again!”
  1. 01.22.2011

    Ho Ho Ho!

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