Munchkins, Music and Me and Toddler Tunes are classes for ages 6mo-2yrs and 2-4yrs old that are focused on getting the little ones exposed to music. Babies and children are drawn to music and listening to music sung by their caregivers strengthens the bond between the child and adult. Music also helps children recognize sounds and rhythm in words which helps improve literacy skills and auditory memory.
For class you will come in and sit on the carpet in a circle. We start with a welcome song where we learn everyone’s names. This song is the same every week to encourage the children and caregivers to have an established routine when we start music class. The next part of class is our singing time. We will sing familiar songs and add some new songs as people get comfortable. Children are drawn to human voices and are even found to focus more on the familiar voices of their caregivers over other sounds and voices. Singing, talking and making eye contact with your child encourages conversational skills, turn taking in conversation, and tone and rhythm of voices. We use props such as egg shakes, tambourines, and rhythm sticks to encourage movement and rhythm as we sing songs. The little ones are especially drawn to the egg shakers. That is always a crowd favorite at each class. The next part of class is focused on movement. We sing songs and do motions either sitting down or standing up such as Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes or Animal Freeze Dance. Depending on the developmental stage of each child some may not be able to crawl or walk yet, but every song and activity can be modified to fit every child and grownup.
The last part of class is for instrument exploration. Child sized instruments are put out on the carpet and the children are encouraged to play with the different percussion, string, and keyboard instruments. This time is my favorite! It’s so much fun to see what the children are drawn to and most interested in. This time also gives the children time to socialize and interact. Many caregivers bring their children to class so they can have some experience around other children. It’s so fun to see the kids grow and become more comfortable with the other kids in class. The instrument exploration time is also a nice opportunity for parents and caregivers a chance to socialize. At the end of class we will clean up, sing a goodbye song and enjoy a munchkin donut snack as we wrap up class.