Did you know? Research shows that the sights, sounds, and smells of the environment are perceived by and important to the youngest of babies? That is why our Kindermusik program for babies, Cuddle & Bounce, includes music and materials appropriate for children from infancy up. Songs, verses and chants, baby books, baby-safe instruments and props all provide appropriate sensory stimulation for your baby’s growing brain, promoting physical, social, cognitive, emotional and language development.
During a Kindermusik class, your baby’s auditory and visual senses are engaged in a very playful way. When multiple senses are engaged in an activity, more areas of the brain are activated. The more areas of the brain activated, the more neural connections are formed and the more memorable the new information becomes. Sensory experiences actually spur the development of neural connections overall, which enhance the learning experience for your baby both now and in the future.
“The time I spend with my son in class each week is invaluable time spent one on one enjoying a playful and relaxed adventure in musical discovery together. It also provides my son Olivier with an opportunity to experience new ways of interacting in a group situation both with the adults and other children present.”- Jacasta B., Cuddle & Bounce Parent
Sensory Play in the Kindermusik Classroom
Our Kindermusik classroom provides a warm and welcoming musical environment for you and your baby to engage in multi-sensory play together. Being allowed to explore and experiment within safe limits is of extreme importance to your baby’s brain development. Those babies who are allowed to explore generally become eager and flexible learners. Your baby’s play is how she learns! Each week in class we engage with a variety of baby-safe instruments and props including:
There is nothing as simple or as enjoyable as playing peekaboo with your baby. Scarf play helps your baby to develop hand-eye coordination as he reaches up and pulls the scarf from your head and also helps your baby to develop pre-dressing skills. Your baby is developing visual discrimination as he explores the textures of the scarf, looks through it and recognises you or other objects on the other side.
Egg Shakers, Drums and Various Instruments
Your baby learns a great deal from instruments even if she is not playing them. Age-appropriate experiences with baby-safe instruments enhance your baby’s sense of rhythm and steady beat, help her to develop a keen awareness of the distinguishing qualities of sound and encourage spontaneity and creativity.
Younger babies will exercise their eyes and develop eye-tracking (an important pre-reading skill) as they follow the sound source. Your baby will be compelled to turn her head to follow the source of the sound, even when it is out of view.
Older babies will start to search for and retrieve hidden objects. This indicates that your baby knows that an object continues to exist even when it cannot be seen. Known as Object Permanence, this concept is important to your baby’s developing self-awareness and can help ease the anxiety of separation. Babies are also learning about cause and effect as they tap, shake and explore instruments: “If this is tapped, it will make a noise.”
As your baby handles and moves the bells he is developing his hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness. Younger babies will use a fisted grasp pattern while older babies will use their fine-motor skills to grasp the bells between thumb and index finger. When playing with the bells, your baby is also practicing whole arm movements and simple wrist movements as they reach for the bells and transfer them from one hand to the other.
The Kindermusik Chime Balls are one of our favourite instruments, for both babies and adults alike! When your baby plays with the Chime Ball she experiences tactile and auditory stimulation (the beautiful chime within the ball), and her play helps her along the path to developing cause and effect, eye-coordination and sound localisation. All while she’s having fun!
Action Schemes and Symbolic Play
Babies learn about different objects by manipulating them. Each baby has his own set of “action schemes” that he uses to try and understand the world around him. Some common action schemes include mouthing, shaking, throwing, dropping, hitting, slapping and reaching.
Sensory Play at Home: You don’t need an array of expensive toys or musical instruments. Play with your baby using everyday objects – get out the pots, pans, plastic utensils and fabric scraps and enjoy some sensory play together!
While she explores, observe for some of your baby’s natural action schemes – does she put everything in her mouth first? Does she like to shake or tap new objects? Watch as she learns about cause and effect—or what happens when she manipulates an object in a certain way. “When I pull on this magazine, it tears.” “When I tap on this pot, it makes lots of noise!” “When I pull the shoestring, the whole shoe moves.” Provide baby-safe objects for your child to explore, and be prepared for lots of repetition—remember the importance of repetition to learning!