Finding Balance Through Creative Dance

Winter Class Article 2019

Week #6

This week, we’re sharing a recent scientific study that measured the proprioceptive abilities of preschoolers who were exposed to an 8-week creative dance program. Find the article here!

The experiment found that the movement reaction times and balance skills of the young children that received movement classes were greatly improved when compared to a control group. The authors of the study believe that dance education should be made a staple of early childhood curriculum.

“In promoting healthy child development, the advantage of dancing, compared with traditional sports, is that it provides an opportunity for young children to be active and to explore body movement capacity without the element of competition.” Sensorimotor skills are important to normal development of coordination moving into childhood and for performing activities of daily life.

The article mentions that few other studies of this nature have examined dance-specific benefits that are not also linked to either regular aerobic exercise or to music education on their own. We love that the dance program used for the experiment included moving the body in space, finding rhythm with clapping, and dancing with nursery rhymes. These are fundamental elements of the Blooming Bébé method!

We hope you enjoyed reading the article and that you will share your thoughts with us! Have you noticed an improvement in your child’s balance and motor skills since joining the Blooming Bébé community?

Reference

Chatzihidiroglou, Panagiota; Chatzopoulos, Dimitris; Lykesas, Georgios; Doganis, Georgios. (March 2018). Dancing Effects on Preschoolers’ Sensorimotor Synchronization, Balance, and Movement Reaction Time https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324020793_Dancing_Effects_on_Preschoolers'_Sensorimotor_Synchronization_Balance_and_Movement_Reaction_Time

How Do Infants Respond to Music?

Winter Class Article 2019

Week #5

This week, we’re discussing a study examining the reactions of infants ages 5-24 months to music. An experiment conducted to test the rhythmic engagement of babies with music versus speech found that babies are not only more interested in music, but actually respond to it with rhythmic movement! Read the full article here.

“We have shown that human infants spontaneously display rhythmic motion of their bodies to music, rhythmical patterns with a regular beat, and isochronous drumbeats. In contrast, infants do not do so in response to [adult-directed] and [infant-directed] speech. The pattern suggests that induction of rhythmic behavior in infants requires auditory stimuli that are metrically regular.”

The findings promote the idea that exposure to music is essential for young babies to develop a sense of rhythm, even when they are still too young to get up and dance. The discussion opens up the questions of what purpose an early musical sense might serve from an evolutionary perspective. One possible explanation put forth is that motor functions involved in music response later translate into physical responses to social and environmental queues.

We think that a sense of rhythm contributes to a happy and healthy life. After reading this study, we’re all the more excited about our classes for young ones and the profound effects that music exposure is having on Blooming Bébé brains!

Reference

Zentner, Marcel and Eerola, Tuomas. (March 30, 2010). Rhythmic engagement with music in infancy https://www.pnas.org/content/107/13/5768

Early Motor Education

Winter Class Article 2019

Week #4

Our article this week is focused on the importance of early education to the development of motor skills. A child’s ability to move is inextricably linked to their abilities to think, feel, and interact with others. The author brilliantly articulates this connection and proposes a global initiative to emphasize movement and motor skills in early schooling. Find the article here - Site Development and Teaching of Motor Skills in Early Childhood Education

“Nowadays, there are many research from the fields of medicine, psychology, sociology and education which state that environment, stimuli, care and early education of children have a transcendental impact regarding the way their brain develops. Thus, the more stimulating the environment, more positive connections are formed in the brain and the better the child’s progress is in all aspects of his life in terms of physical, emotional and social development, as well as their ability to express and acquire knowledge.” - Pedro Gil Madrona

We loved this article not only for its detailed explanation of why movement is especially important in early stages of development, but also because the philosophy of learning through “game” recommended by the author is very much in line with the Blooming Bébé methodology. We help our little ones build confidence through movement, using touch, bonding, and play to encourage them to open and explore their senses.

We also found inspiration in Madrona’s proposal to implement movement in early education across the globe. Blooming Bébé is proud to offer an experience that will allow your child to become their very best.

Please let us know what you thought of this week’s article!

Reference

Madrona, Pedro Gil. (25th November, 2014). Site Development and Teaching of Motor Skills in Early Childhood Education. https://theartsjournal.org/index.php/site/article/view/558/327

Your Child's Learning Style

Winter 2019 Class Article

Week #3

“Parents and educators have identified three main types of learning - kinesthetic, visual and auditory.” Please find this week’s article - Identify Your Child’s Learning Style

Did you know that tactile learning and touch is essential for a child’s growth in physical abilities, cognitive, language skills and even social and emotional development?


We address the importance of touch in our second developmental movement exercise in classes. In this exercise we squeeze, tap, pat and sometimes rhythmically and gently poke our little ones. This type of touch leads to proprioception (knowing where the body is in space), bonding and sensory integration.

In classes, I see a variety of personalities and learning styles. I have children who like to sit directly in front of me and observe while I teach (Visual learners), children who are constantly jumping, crawling or moving throughout the class (kinesthetic learners), those who sing all of the nursery rhymes and have a natural sense of rhythm and ability to follow directions (auditory) and those who float in and out (combination of learning styles).

What’s your child’s learning style?

Reference

Pennington, Molld, PhD. (2015, January 6th) How to Identify Your Child’s Learning Style. Retrieved from https://www.noodle.com/articles/how-to-identify-your-childs-learning-style

Cultural Awareness and Diversity

Winter 2019 Class Article

Week #2

To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr, I am pleased to share an article called How to Teach Children about Cultural Awareness and Diversity. Please find the article here - Cultural Awareness

In classes, we introduce our children to cultural awareness and diversity by dancing and playing instruments to music from around the world. Our little movers have the opportunity to internalize a variety of new rhythms in a diverse environment. We often move to music from countries like Egypt, India, France, Brazil, Cape Verde and Angola.

Enjoy the article!

Reference

Tirrell-Corbin, Christy. How to Teach Children About Cultural Awareness and Diversity. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/parents/expert-tips-advice/2015/08/teach-children-cultural-awareness-diversity/

Rhythm and Grammar

Winter 2019 Class Article

Week #1

To kick off our first week back to classes, we had a tabla player in our toddler classes. He introduced us to some very complex rhythms and we learned a new vocabulary. He taught us a very simple tabla rhythm by clapping and what he called waving with his hands and using the sound "Da" while he played the rhythm on his tabla and we played on our drums. 

Speaking of rhythm, please find a great article about the link between grammar and rhythm. - Grammar + Rhythm

"A child's ability to distinguish musical rhythm is related to his or her capacity for understanding grammar." This should be enough to delve into this short article. 

Reference

Vanderbilt University Medical Center. (2014, November 5th). Links between grammar, rhythm explored by researcher. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141105101238.htm

Don't Praise Your Child

Fall 2018 Class Article

Week #10

“Good Job", Well Done, You are the best!” Do you constantly praise your child? Please enjoy this food for thought article about praising your children . Don't Praise Your Children 

Reference

Taylor, Jim, PhD. (2009, September 3rd). Parenting: Don’t Praise Your Children. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-power-prime/200909/parenting-dont-praise-your-children

Attention Span

Fall 2018 Class Article

Week #9

Did you know that a child between 8 - 15 months can only focus on a single action activity for no longer than 1 minute? Between the restless stages of 16-19 months, children can focus between 2-3 minutes on a structured activity like class.  Please find the class article here: https://childdevelopment.com.au/areas-of-concern/attention/

There are several ways to "work" to increase attention span, but being realistic about your child's ability based on developmental age and not pushing your child too much is the first step. There are also gentle ways such as eye contact, repetitive language and "visual schedules". Our repetitive developmental movement exercises in classes serve as visual schedules. The children have an idea of what is going to happen next which allows them to organize themselves in a way that leads to greater attention. As your infants get older, they will be able to actively participate in the exercises and more class activities. 

Reference

Attention. Retrieved from https://childdevelopment.com.au/areas-of-concern/attention/

Sitting Still

Fall 2018 Class Article

Week #8

I have shared this article in the past and think it is fabulous! This week's article is called Why so many kids can't sit still in school today. The article was written by a pediatric occupational therapist. Please find the article here: Sitting Still

The article mentions the staggering amount of children diagnosed with ADHD. The results prove that children are not getting enough movement throughout the day and have underdeveloped vestibular systems, underdeveloped sensory systems and poor core strength. It is important to start working on activities that encourage a strong vestibular system, sensory systems and cores when our little ones are infants. In class we work on vestibular activities when we dance with them to various types of music and when we move with our octaband during our developmental movement exercises. We also work on their sensory systems and cores through moving through our developmental movement exercises. The benefits of these exercises aresobeneficial!

Reference

Strauss, Valerie. (2014, July 8th). Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2014/07/08/why-so-many-kids-cant-sit-still-in-school-today/?utm_term=.7311c8a3786b

Learning to Read

Fall 2018 Class Article

Week #7

Can you imagine the challenges a 16 year old who can't read faces? This week's article mentions a little boy who couldn't read despite a lot of tutoring and extra time spent with him. Do you know what helped him learn how to read? Cross Lateral exercises on a daily basis! His parents had him touch his opposite arm with his opposite leg and had him crawl.. yes crawl every morning. Please find the article here: Cross Lateral Exercise

In class, our developmental movement exercises address this cross lateral movement pattern. In addition, our bubble blowing allows our little ones the opportunity to cross from one side of their bodies to another.

Is your little one not crawling? No worries, if your little one skips crawling and jumps to walking you can always encourage them to go back to crawling and do fun cross lateral exercises with nursery rhymes like in class.

Reference

Pica, Rae. Who Says the Mind/Body Connection Isn’t Real? The Magic of Cross Lateral Movement. Retrieved from http://www.raepica.com/2018/05/magic-of-cross-lateral-movement/

Fear of Heights

Fall 2018 Class Article

Week #6


Did you know that crawling produces a fear of heights? When a child propels their body into space, the brain becomes aware of information in the peripheral visual field and uses this information to correct balance. Please find this week's article about walking and talking and a fear of heights:  Fear of Heights Article

In class, our vestibular exercise in our developmental movement series on therapy balls, using our octaband and while dancing in general space helps develop our little one's sense of balance and coordination.

I hope that you enjoy this fully loaded article.

Reference

Go-Carting babies reveal origin of fear of heights (2013, July 17). Retrieved from https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21929264-500-go-carting-babies-reveal-origin-of-fear-of-heights/

Brain Architecture

Fall 2018 Class Article

Week #1

Early Intervention
Did you know that there are nearly 400,000 children between the ages of 3-9years old in the USA who are seeking early intervention services for developmental delays? (Morin) While there are several reasons that children seek EI services, there are various ways that we as parents can educate ourselves to do what is necessary to help empower our little ones along in their movement journey.

Where do we begin?
We are our children's environment and provide them with the necessary experiences to help build their healthy brains. Please read this week's article about Brain architecture in children: Brain Architecture Article .

In addition to allowing plenty of floor time to explore without using too much baby equipment, It is through bonding and positive experiences that our little ones are able to integrate their senses and reflexes and to become physically literate and confident with their bodies.

It is also important for all of us to be patient and to respect where our little ones are in their stage of development. As you could clearly see today, most of the children were around the same age but were completely different in their fine and gross motor skills.

Class
New Parents and Returning Parents(as a reminder) - In class we move through 8 developmental movement patterns which are natural patterns that all typical developing babies move through their first year of life. We move through these patterns via exercises paired with nursery rhymes to help connect our little one's minds and bodies. It is also great to revisit these patterns in the case that your little one missed a movement step (example... not crawling to walking or not rolling to crawling).

1. Breath (Taking deep breaths after each movement, Bubble Gum in a dish)

2. Tactile (Clap your hands with me, squeeze your legs, pat your arms + Itsy Bitsy Spider)

3. Core Distal/ Navel Radiation (Open Shut Them)

4. Head Tail (Humpty Dumpty, Bounce like a Ball)

5. Upper Lower/Homologous (Reaching high and low)

6. Body Sides/Homolateral (With the Octaband - Row Row Row your boat)

7. Cross Lateral/Contralateral (one two buckle my shoe)

8. Vestibular (The wheels on the bus with our Octaband + Old Macdonald and Zoom Zoom with the therapy balls).

Movement/Dancing is integral to building brain development, helps your little one find a sense of body awareness and social awareness. We danced to music from Angola and France today and played instruments to Elvis Presley.

Enjoy this article!

References

Brain Architecture. Retrieved from https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/brain-architecture/

Morin, A. Developmental Delays by the Numbers. Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/treatments-approaches/early-intervention/developmental-delays-by-the-numbers

The Development of the Senses

Fall 2018 Class Article

Week #2


Did you know that it takes 6 years for our senses to develop? This week’s article mentions that the development of the senses is the foundation for intelligence. This statement is explained here: "Our ability to receive information through our senses and interpret it will have great influence on our intelligence and our ability to read, write, or do anything. Without our senses, our mind would not have any way to receive information at all. Our potential for development is tied to our perceptual development, and our ability to use our senses is related to our early experience." Please find the article here: Article about the Senses

Touch, proper stimulation and appropriate activity are essential to developing our senses. In class, our tactile exercise (squeezing, tapping, brushing the body), playing with scarves and instruments, bubbles and the octaband are all ways that our little ones have an opportunity to explore their senses.

Enjoy the article!

Reference

Importance of the Development of the Senses. Retrieved from http://www.montessoriworld.org/sensory/Senses.html

Primitive Reflexes in Children and Adults

Fall 2018 Class Article

Week #3

Does your little one walk on their toes? Do you have back pain when you sit in front of the computer for extended periods of time? Does your little one have a hard time picking up small items with their index finger and thumb (pincer grasp)? Perhaps these are signs of primitive reflexes that have not integrated. There are a couple of reasons that some children and adults still have some primitive reflexes in tact including a traumatic birth, not enough tummy time or too much time in propping devices. Primitive reflexes keep us alive in our first months of life but should all be integrated by 12 months. Primitive reflexes past 12 months are a sign of a neurological imbalance.

Luckily, there are several things that we can do to get rid of primitive reflexes. The best way to get rid of these reflexes is to actually do the primitive reflex. Our developmental movement exercises in classes address some of these concerns. Our Navel Radiation exercise to Open Shut Them helps with a retained Moro Reflex. In this exercise we are opening our arms and legs as wide as we can and curling back into a small ball into our midline. In addition, our Vestibular exercise, dancing in general space and bouncing on therapy balls helps us with our balance and coordination. Please find the article: Primitive Reflexes Article

Enjoy the article!

Reference

Reflexes Explained. Retrieved from https://www.retainedneonatalreflexes.com.au/reflexes-explained/

Motor and Language Development

Fall 2018 Class Article

Week #4

This week's article is called Developing language in a developing body: the relationship between motor development and language development. Please find the article here: Motor Development and Language Development Article

While I don't agree with the strict timelines that are represented in terms of motor development in this article, I think that this is very interesting as your little ones are all beginning to discover their voices in new ways. Depending on your child's position, on their tummies, in sitting, on all fours or standing, their ability to vocalize changes. Identical sound sequences like mama or dada often begin to develop once mouthing (putting objects in their mouths as discovery) decreases.

Take a moment and pay attention to the way your child uses his/her voice. Have you ever noticed the repetition or intensity in sounds that your child makes when they are banging two toys together? Or the sounds that they make when they are learning to run or crawl and begin to make high pitched sounds when they want to move faster?

I hope that you enjoy this wonderful article!

Reference

Iverson, Jana M. (2010, January 25). Developing language in a developing body: the relationship between motor development and language development. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2833284/

Supporting Early Math Skills in Movement Class

Fall 2018 Class Article

Week #5

During the fifth week of classes we worked on the five basic math concepts ( Number and Operations, Shapes and Spacial relationships, Measurement, Patterns, Relationship and Change and Collecting and organizing information) through the utilization of movement and props. Here is how we focused on each concept in class:

Number and Operations - In our crawlers class, while sitting on the parachute, we sang 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. We shook the parachute with the corresponding number of monkey's who fell off of the bed. In our toddler classes we also used this song. With the help of our drummer, we rhythmically tapped out the corresponding number of monkey’s who fell off of the bed.

In our toddler class, we also performed our call and response activity where our drummer led us in a series of rhythmic patterns. We responded to the number of times he tapped on his drum by tapping with our rhythm sticks on the ground and on drums.

Shapes and Spacial Relationships - In our developmental movement exercise (Navel Radiation exercise) we stretched wide like a star and in small like a snail (big and small) while singing open shut them.

Measurement - Playing with different props. While physically handling, "mouthing" moving with and exploring the scarves/rhythm ribbons, octabands, therapy balls, rings and instruments your little ones learned about size, shape, weight and texture.

Patterns, Relationship and Change - We rhythmically tapped, shook and raised our rings high and low, side to side and on the ground in unison to Celia Cruz's song La Vida es Un Carnaval.

Collecting and Organizing Information - Cleaning up as a group. Putting different sized props into the baskets.

Here is a great article I found about Supporting Early Math Learning: Early Math Article

Enjoy!

Reference

Supporting Early Math for Infants and Toddlers. Retrieved from https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/nycu-early-math-learning.pdf