Music and Movement are an important component in healthy development for all children, especially in the toddler years. Toddlers are always in motion and music is not only important for development but also for developing social and culture connections to one another. We would like to build a music library with sturdy musical instruments and introduce yoga practices to enhance movement and spacial awareness.
We want to be able to provide sturdy musical equipment that will hold up to the demands of toddler activity. We would like enough equipment to do in small groups of four with each child having the same piece of equipment along with doing large group activities with a variety of equipment. The purchase of yoga mats that are sized for infant toddler use will allow them to each have a space that is there very own and scaled to their size. The staff is very committed to using the tools of music and movement to help our little ones know their spacial awareness, cooperation with each other, and express their emotions in a creative way.
Children naturally love music and are wired to move. The benefits of music and movement zero to five population is an important component to healthy development in the early years. Music and movement enhance fine and large motor skills, provide a safe space for social-emotional development, and an ability to connect to each other and with other adults. Incorporating yoga movements helps in developing the vestibular system, which lets a child know where they are in space, and helps the right and left brain learn to work together. Music and movement together help development social skills, creativity and imagination, cause and effect, and expression of emotion.
By having exposure to music, yoga, and working with the teen parents in learning these techniques to use with their children we are adding another layer to the parent child bond. The parents will learn movements and songs that they can do at home with their children.
Music and movement is a wonderful way to nurture children's development in a fun playful environment. It helps support some of the most important developmental milestones for infants and toddlers such as language, sensory and motor development, and helps to build confidence for the child and the parent.
Singing and chanting can help make routine activities and transitions smoother and more enjoyable. Through adding these activities to our program in a more authentic way will show our children how to cooperate with one another, help with developing appropriate behavior in the classroom and create bonds between parent and child.
The musical instruments, yoga mats, and yoga instructional supplies will give the teachers the tools that they need to implement these programs for the children. We will also have the equipment to provide in house classes in music, movement, and parent child yoga for the teens. Currently we have to look outside to community classes that offer parent interaction in music and yoga. Most of the time those are during the academic day, in groups that the teens do not feel comfortable in and are expensive. Offering during our parenting and life skills component will allow the teens to participate together, creating bonds between the parents and the children
Purchasing equipment that is sturdy will help the equipment last longer. The instruments we are requesting is durable equipment made from real materials, not plastic items that can break easily. The musical instruments we have had in our classroom has been the type that is not sturdy and cannot stand up to the demands of infants and toddlers. Providing real instruments shows the children how to use the equipment for what it is made for and exposes the children to real world quality items.
Our small group music and movement program will be implemented at least two days a week. Working with three to four of our little ones offers an opportunity for them to explore the instruments and movement in a deeper way, learning how to cooperate and sit with their peers while engaged in a meaningful activity. On Friday's we will be able to do large group music and movement by using our new yoga mats during toddler gym time. Providing each child with their own mat helps to teach them how to be in their own space visually, the mat is their space for music and movement.
We will be able to provide two classes, programs in baby and me music classes and mommy and me yoga, one day a week six weeks each program for the teens.
We will be sharing the music and yoga equipment with our infant and toddler program and our teen parent program.
The STEPP program is limited on funds that we can use. Many of our enrichment programs and supplies/equipment are supported by grant writing.