People are really amazed when I tell them I teach Creative Movement and Dance to children from infancy to school age. What can you do with them so young they say? I can understand why they would say that looking at it from someone that doesn’t have the opportunity to be around children all day and work with them.
Hopefully after seeing the movie “Babies” they will have a better understanding of some of the things that all babies do and go through no matter the region or culture. This movie chronicles 4 babies from birth to when they take their first step. There is no dialogue at all, just the sounds of the babies and whatever is in their environment at the time.
In the movie we see that babies are great imitators. Because babies are such great imitators we have an amazing window of opportunity for future learning and growth and development. We can talk to them as we would normally talk to anyone else. This helps babies to learn language faster and begin speaking earlier.
Babies can learn about their environment, their bodies and how different body parts work and what these body parts can do. They can learn about what’s happening to them at certain times and learn about cause and effect. For instance you can explain, now it is time to eat we are going to have some peas and carrots and pears yum. Pears are outside on a tree, remember when I showed you a tree when we were at the park.
Babies are always learning even though they cannot speak yet, they are still learning a lot. Their brains are building neuropathways with every experience. These neuropathways are the building blocks for future learning . They lay the groundwork so that when they experience similiar experiences in the future the foundation is already laid.
It is important to take advantage of this opportunity because children go through a pruning of brain cells that are not used. Use it or lose it definitely applies here. The prime time for this opportunity is from birth to 2 years of age. The brain is still growing and developing after this age, it’s just that from 0-2 is the best time.
Lastly children naturally dance when they hear a rhythm. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just clapping and singing can provide good music and get a baby moving. This is a fun form of expression for a baby and children in general. something that they love to do.
So remember babies can do a lot more than you think they can. I’d love to hear about what your babies are doing. Please feel free to post your comments and experiences on this blog.