How to Keep the Daily Rhythms and Routines that Matter to Your Child

routine

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Here in the States, summer is almost here, and with it often comes changes to our normal routines.  As adults, we adapt to the break and look forward to a change of pace – a different kind of busy.  But a change in routine can be very unsettling to young children who not only need the security and predictability of routines, but actually thrive physically, emotionally, and cognitively on those routines.  

 

Whereas we as adults are driven by our clocks and calendars, the day is defined by routines for young children.  Deviate too much from those routines and you can potentially end up dealing with fussiness, whining, or tantrums.  The reality is that life is unpredictable at times, so teaching our kids how to adapt and be flexible is a valuable life skill.  So how can we keep some consistency in those routines that are so necessary to small children?

 

Start and end your day the same way

Keeping your morning and evening routines makes what happens in between a little easier for your young child.  Even the smallest things like the order in which you get ready in the morning or the way you always read together before bed will be very comforting.

Keep that favorite toy or book handy 

Children find security in what’s familiar.  It’s why some kids really latch on to a certain stuffed animal or blankie.  So tuck that favorite toy or book in your bag when you’re on the go, and offer it to your child when you sense he’s needing a little distraction.

 

Lean into the changes

If you know that your summer is going to be different for the next several months, create some new routines – and then stick to them.  What’s hardest for children is not knowing what’s happening next because the next day is always different.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Rhythm[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Talk through what’s coming up

This is especially helpful for older toddlers, preschoolers, and big kids who are beginning to be old enough to understand and flex better with change.  Surprises can be unsettling, so simply taking a few minutes to let them know what to expect will go a long way towards making day go much more smoothly for everyone.

 

Infuse your day with music

 Sing your child’s favorite song as you load up in the car, turn on that beloved Kindermusik CD as you travel, or play that favorite lullaby playlist before bed.  It’s all about finding ways to include the familiar even when there has to be a change in the normal routine.  A simple thing like playing or singing some favorite songs can make all the difference in how the day goes.

 

Stay enrolled in some of your regular activities – like Kindermusik class!  

Anchoring your week with a beloved and familiar outing goes a long way in your child being able to adjust better to other changes.  Children mark time by their predictable activities – precisely the reason why Kindermusik educators regularly have parents share that their child wakes up asking, “Is today my Kindermusik day?”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Life is full of surprises, yes, and often the day’s activities are somewhat out of our control.  But the goal with young children is to control what we can, keep whatever routines we can, and add in the touches of the favorite and familiar to give a sense of comfort and predictability wherever possible.  And our best tip??  Music makes everything better – all day, any day, every day.

 


Shared by Theresa Case, whose favorite part of the week is when she’s enjoying her Kindermusik teaching routine in her award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, South Carolina.   [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

7 Tips for Making Every Day a Musical Day

7 tips

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Any parent who’s been attending Kindermusik classes for even a short period of time quickly realizes just how enjoyable and powerful singing, dancing, playing, exploring, and making music can be – not just for their child, but also for them!  It’s no surprise then, that Kindermusik Educators are often asked for ideas about how to include more music into daily routines at home during the week in between classes.  With nearly 40 years of research and wisdom backing us, we’re always thrilled to share some ideas.  Here are a few of those best ideas compiled here for you!


Tip #1 – Sing, sing, sing!  

The most beautiful sound in the world to your child is your voice, whether you think anyone else would agree or not.  Over time, you’ll have an entire repertoire from your Kindermusik classes, and you’ll even get skilled at making up your own words for a new verse or two!

 

Tip # 2 – Keep the music playing

Create playlists or simply let the music stream – in the playroom, in the car, before naps, and before bedtime.  It’s really amazing to watch as your child starts to tune in to sounds of instruments (even naming them!), hums or sings along, breaks out into a spontaneous happy dance, or develops strong opinions about favorite types of music.

 

Tip # 3 – Start a collection of musical instruments 

One of our Baby Bags!
One of our Baby Bags!

Start off with the basics – egg shakers, bells, and drums – then add other age-appropriate instruments along the way.  We recommend keeping your instruments separate from your toys, so that even from an early age, children are learning how to listen, handle, and explore the instruments with focus, care, and creativity.  With you there to support and engage, exploring instruments is an especially delightful learning and play activity.

 

Tip #4 – Make your own homemade instruments

This is a fun, rainy day activity that will keep your child occupied, both as you are making the instrument together and later, as he enjoys exploring and playing with the instrument.  Two simple ideas to get you started are making homemade ankle bells or even a homemade guiro.

 

Tip #5 – Use a favorite lullaby to calm and soothe

Many parents tell us that there are one or two of our Quiet Time lullabies that really touch them and their children.  Learn the words so you can sing those lullabies at home, whether at those times when your child needs a calming moment, a close cuddle, or back rub and song while she falls asleep.

 

Tip #6 – Enjoy a little impromptu dance party

Tears quickly turn into giggles and smiles as you waltz and twirl around the room together, either to a song you hum or a favorite recording from Kindermusik class.  The type of music you choose can fit the need of the moment.  For example, if your child is fussy and needing your attention, cuddle up for a gentle waltz.  If your little one is bouncing off the walls, go for a lively jig.  

 

Tip #7 – Make the most of your Kindermusik Home Materials

Chock-full of ideas and inspiration for you and engaging musical play for your child, your Kindermusik Home Materials are one of your best go-to resources not only for enhancing your overall Kindermusik experience, but for providing hours of learning, engagement, and interactive play at home during the week.

 

These are simple ideas that are oh-so-easy to incorporate either spontaneously or as a planned part of your child’s day.  Without a doubt, music really can make your “everyday” moments a little happier, a little sweeter, and a little easier!


 

Shared by Theresa Case whose award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, South Carolina has been bringing joy to families for over 20 years now.

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Mother’s Day Music Activities

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It’s nearly here! The day we set aside to celebrate mothers and all they do for us. Whether you celebrate by serving up breakfast in bed or making a coupon book for “free hugs,” we all know she’ll love whatever it is you do as long as it’s overflowing with love.Speaking of hugs…

One Mother’s Day, my boys and I cooked up a special gift. We bought a sweater – a simple sweater in a color we knew their mom would love. We then took a picture of the boys hugging the sweater, wrote a little poem, and boxed everything up. The idea was this – anytime my wife wore the sweater she’d be constantly receiving hugs from our boys. It was a big hit!

Mother's Day hug sweater
Our boys and the “Hug Sweater.”

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]That idea is free to the world – but this is a music blog, right? How can we celebrate our mothers in a musical way?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Write a Song!

You don’t need to be a professional musician to write song! Music belongs to everyone! The easiest way to start is picking an existing tune and writing new personal lyrics. Hey – if Weird Al can do it, so can you! Remember, the thought behind the action means so much to Mom! And the simpler the tune, the easier it will be for the little ones to sing along? How about this to the tune of Frère Jacques:

Mom we love you!
Mom we love you!
You’re the best!
Your’e the best!
Thank you for your kisses
Now we’ll do the dishes
After lunch!
After lunch!

It’s silly but singable. You can do it, too! Have fun, be creative, and tell her how you feel![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Make a Mix CD for the Car!

Remember when we were kids? The sweetest thing you could do for someone you liked was to make a mix tape. Well – tapes are pretty much a thing of the past, but we can still make a mix CD…or even a playlist. Find Mom’s most favorite tunes and create a personalized album. You could even create a custom insert for the jewel case with pictures of the little ones. What about adding little recorded messages from the kids between each track – simple things like “Mommy, I love you!” or “Thanks for tucking me in at night!”

A custom CD or playlist complete with little audio notes of love from the kids will be a big hit![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Music and Movement – a Mother’s Day Dance Off!

After the aforementioned breakfast in bed, how about finding some great music – maybe even some Kindermusik tunes – and have a family dance off! Everybody could take part or perhaps Mom can serve a judge and decide who has the best moves. Here are some crazy ideas:

  1. Who can dance like their favorite animal the best?
  2. Who can dance with only their face?
  3. Can you only dance with your legs and not move your upper body?
  4. Who can dance the longest without smiling?

I bet you can come up with your own fun variations on the dance off theme. Get those bodies moving to music as a family![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

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Dance Off!

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Dinner Time Opera

We’ve done this before. While you’re eating, when you’d normally have wonderful family conversation, sing instead of talking! This is easier than it sounds. Think about Will Ferrell in Elf...everyone can sing. If you can speak, you can make up a tune for that sentence. Believe me, it’s a woot. You’ll have a hard time not giggling as your conversation and melodic speaking develops.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Eto6DU_2oI”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]However you celebrate Mom, the most important part is time together. She’ll love whatever you do if it’s done from the heart. Have fun infusing music into the day…and if you do Dinner Time Opera, record it. We’d love to include a video or two in a future post!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there from the Kindermusik family![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Best Music Apps for Kids

best apps

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]There are A LOT of music apps out there! A simple search in either the Google Play Store or the Apple Store returns a host of results. Don’t worry – Dr. Boyle has sifted through the chaff to find the gems. Remember – screen time can be beneficial when monitored. Even better, spend time with your little ones as they explore these apps. Quality time with you is what they really want.


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Tongo Music – for Kids and Familes

Apple Store: $1.99

Google Play Store: $2.49

App stores are flooded with free apps, so we are often resistant when there’s a price tag – but friends, this app is well worth the modest price tag. Lovely designed and visually appealing, Tongo Music was selected as one of the best apps for 2016 by the Apple Store. The app is interactive, allowing kids to make music and develop a basic understanding of musical notation.

The app exposes kids to famous classical music tunes, such as “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” from The Nutcracker Suite, teaches them the instruments of the orchestra, allowing them to virtually play them, all in a social media/ad free setting that is super kid friendly and safe. In addition – no in-app purchases!

Give it a try! We’re sure you and your little ones will love it!

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]tongo_app[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]crayola music app[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Crayola DJ

Apple Store: $2.99

Google Play Store: $2.99

Crayola has been delighting kids with color for decades. Now, they bring they’re creativity to the realm of music, still filled with the vibrant color you’d expect from this kid-friendly company. This app is just plain fun. Visually active and appealing, kids will quickly be able to create their own music loops flavored by pop, hip hop, and dance genres. Create your own music video, complete with a color-drenched light show!

This app won the Parents’ Choice “Fun Stuff” award and CreativeChild.com’s “Creative Play of the Year” award.

Again – add free, social media free, and in-app purchase free. You’re child won’t accidentally spend $1,200 inside the app.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od2CKV9o4Qc”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]sago mini puppy music[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Sago Mini Puppy Preschool

Apple Store: $2.99

Google Play Store: $2.99

Here’s an app that does more than just introduce kids to music, though that is a big part of what it does. Who doesn’t love puppies? And these puppies are here to learn along with your little ones. Sago Mini is actually a whole series of apps. Puppy Preschool focuses on early learning goals – numbers, shape recognition, and matching.

There are four games that young children will love to play over and over, learning while the do. Free play is a wonderful feature in this app that allows the child to explore and experience at their own pace. There’s a parents area within the app with ideas and suggestions on how to interface with your little one regarding the apps contents.

The puppy choir is absolutely adorable, presenting an eight note scale with tones and matching barks from the pups. Be warned, there is the occasional puppy burp or puppy “gas incident.” But let’s face it, we all experience that from time to time!

Again, no in-app purchases, advertisements, or social media worries. The app is self contained and will provide lots of giggling moments for you and your child![/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6GzRNr6Jok”][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Quality apps will cost money, and these three apps are definitely worth their price tags. When you don’t have to worry about external connections (ads and social media interfaces), as well as not being charged for constant add-ons, their value becomes apparent. Many apps advertise as free, but to get the most out of them, you need to spend $1.99 here and 99¢ there. With these three, you pay once and that’s it – your child gets to experience the full app right away.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Fascinating DIY Play Time that Inspires Imagination and Creativity

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Kids with great imaginations and boundless creativity may test your patience at times, but they are the ones with the brightest futures – the ones most likely to invent something fantastic or solve one of the world’s biggest problems.  And they are great problem solvers!

It’s in the early years that we adults have the greatest opportunity to support and foster imagination and creativity in a child.  That’s one of the things we Kindermusik educators love about Kindermusik – it’s all about being creative, thinking outside the box, and using our imaginations as the children learn about music and explore making music in all kinds of ways.

But it’s during play time at home that parents can really fuel the creativity and inspire the imagination – without a lot of expense, mess, or toys.  Just some simple DIY play time ideas will do.  So here are some DIY play time activities we lovingly recommend.


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Build a Cardboard Castle

We promise, it will provide hours of entertainment, and you’ll probably want to join in the play too!  Here’s how to make your own cardboard castle with a big box, a few simple tools, and a little bit of “royal” decor. (I’m not gonna lie – I love the cute little fanfare music that goes along with the video!)[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl_iEuaVVYQ”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Design a Chalk Raceway

This is just adorable – perfect for inspiring your little speedway racer to play, play, play!  This short 30-second video shows you how.  Add a few cars, and the race is on![/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXSWnuxKDJo”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Try out Some Homemade “Playdough”

Kids love playdough, and playdough is great for developing those muscles in their hands and fine motor skills in their little fingers.  Watch the video below: instructions for simple no-cook playdough, or if you want playdough that lasts a little longer, here is a recipe for the cooked kind.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ABqBFnGAcY”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Create Your own Homemade Instruments

In fact, make a couple of them, and you’ve got the makings of a family band!  Here’s how to make a carton banjo, an oatmeal container bongo, or a set of ankle bells. [/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9EzC68Jc_M”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVX5xTzaOXo”][vc_column_text]Ankle[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Make your own Shape Sorter

It’s easier than you think!  And you’ll love how it stimulates your little one’s thinking skills and encourages his or her creativity.  Find the short and sweet directions here.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AolpS74FMVA”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Inspire your Little Picasso

Your budding artist will be inspired to paint and draw on their very own easel that you can make together.  It’s a great way to keep the art projects a little less messy too.  Here’s how to make a simple art easel.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU4mjc7atr4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Get on Board with some Train-themed Crafts

So cute, and sure to enthrall your little train engineer.  Making some train crafts is easy with this short tutorial.  Add in a train conductor’s hat, bandana, and train whistle and you’re ready to go![/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz1AD3BHgYw”][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We hope you have hours of fun making memories and inspiring your child’s imagination!  And one last tip… adding a little music along with the play will only make the creating and playing that much more fun and enjoyable.


Shared by Theresa Case, whose award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios is located in Greenville, South Carolina[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

First Day of Spring Activities for Families

spring

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Some parts of the world are enjoying balmy temperatures right now. Others are digging out from snowstorms and wishing they could enjoy balmy temperatures sooner rather than later. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re approaching a momentous day – the first day of Spring! And we’re here to help you celebrate in an easy, family-friendly, happy, memorable kind of way. (After all, that’s what we celebrate about kids and parents in our Kindermusik classes every week!)


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Read a book

You probably read with your child nearly every day, sometimes multiple times a day. And we bet you can even recite, word for word, a few of your child’s most beloved books that you have read over and over again. But you can still make this day and the event of reading a book together by reading something new about Spring. Here are a few of our favorite Spring-themed titles:

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
The Listening Walk by Paul Showers and Aliki
Listen to the Rain by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault, and James Endicott[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

After you Read the Book, Go on your Own “Listening Walk”

This is a delightful activity that will become a fast favorite… and get you outside for a little healthy exercise and special together time.

Make – and Sail – a Miniature Boat

These cork boats and walnut boats are just adorable – so fun to make and even more fun to “sail” in the sink, in a puddle, or in a creek.

Plant a Seed

If you don’t have a green thumb, or it’s been awhile since you tried planting anything, here’s a super short, super easy, video to inspire you. There’s nothing more fascinating than watching something grow![/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XL9aRtkSMZw”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Download and Learn Kindermusik’s “The Growing Song” Together

There’s nothing better than bonding together over learning and singing a new song together. Here’s a sweet little song that you can download and add to your repertoire – and your playlist.

Make a Springtime Wreath

Grandma will love this for her front door! Watch the 30-second video tutorial for this adorable little craft that’s perfect for even younger children to make.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SN5GJm-jIg”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Plan a Picnic – in the Backyard or at a Park

You can really turn this into an “event” by enjoying planning the picnic with your child as much as actually going on the picnic (you’ll find some really fantastic picnic ideas here). Turn it into a play date by inviting a few friends.


 

Celebrating the little moments is what childhood is all about. And a little simple celebration, sharing some special moments together, will go a long way towards helping your child blossom into a happy, confident, creative individual.

Shared by Theresa Case, owner of Kindermusik at Piano Central Studios in beautiful Greenville, South Carolina, where Springtime is always beautiful![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Sing and Dance that Stress Away

Music and movement stress

Stress. We all deal with it from time to time….and friends, so do our kids. Don’t forget – we have a lifetime of experience in managing stress – and even then we can have a hard time with it. Our kids deal with stress, too…and they are stress novices. It’s up to us to help them develop the skills and methods to cope with stress in their young lives. As it turns out, and this is in no way by accident, music and movement, the very things at which we are experts, are fantastic ways to alleviate stress. Science lights the way. Let’s check it out!

Continue reading “Sing and Dance that Stress Away”

Simple DIY Crafts that Let Kids Be Creative and Expressive

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Here at Kindermusik, we love sharing tips that help make parenting a little easier and also help bring out the best in your kids – including their creativity and self-expressiveness!  After all, one of the gifts of learning music and participating in a weekly music class is the beautiful way in which self-expression and creativity are both fostered and encouraged.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we thought you’d be inspired to enjoy some of these simple Valentine’s themed, DIY crafts with your children.  And by the way, we’d love for you to share pictures of your results on the Kindermusik Facebook page. #KindermusikCreativity[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

DIY Valentine’s Day Necklace

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Valentine’s Day Stamps

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A Heart Sun Catcher

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Our friends over at The Artful Parent always have such great ideas. Check out this beautiful heart-shaped sun catcher and their great idea for a Do-it-Yourself light table!

Sun Catcher[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Modern Valentine’s T-Shirt

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]The Artful Parent does it again! Take a look at their fresh take on the homemade shirt. It’s cool, hip, and fashion forward!

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Handprint Hearts

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]From across the pond, Activity Village brings us the cutest heart-inspired idea – the handprint heart! It’s fast, easy, and fun. Check it out!

Hand Print Heart[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Tissue Paper Valentine’s Wreath

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Need some extra decorations around the house? How about a wreath made from Valentine’s Day colored tissue paper? The folks at Happy Hooligans provide the instructions – you provide the fun!

Happy Hooligans

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Heart-Shaped Binoculars

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Want to look at the world a little differently? Maybe with a little more heart? Then take a look at Happily Ever Mom’s heart-shaped binoculars. – yet another use for used toilet paper rolls!

Heart-shaped binoculars[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Modeling Clay Love Bugs

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Toddler Approved brings us adorable little DIY love bugs. Remember, a bug with a heart-shaped face and a smile is cute…not creepy!

Love Bug

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Bouquet of Love

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]This is a favorite – also from Toddler Approved. The Bouquet of Love lets your little one have a blast making free designs with paint or any other medium, and in the end, produces a beautiful finished product, filled with the unique artistic expressions of your child. Take a peek!

Bouquet of Love[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]


 

Have fun with your little love bug as you make a few Valentine’s crafts – and lots of special memories – together!![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The Box vs. The Toy that Came In It: Why the Box Wins

Box

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]How often does this scene play out in your home? You get that toy your little one has been eyeing for the past two months – you know the one. Every time the commercial popped up on the TV everything stopped. “Mommy! Daddy! That’s it!! That’s it!!”

It seemed like a great choice. Well reviewed. Educational. It even had some research proving it did x and y, and it would help your child grow up to be Grace Hopper (if you don’t know who Grace Hopper is, check her out). 

You buy it, wrap it, and gift it. Those little hands tear apart your carefully swathed package. She’s thrilled! Shrieks of “thank you!” and “you’re the best Mom and Dad ever!” fill the room.

Then it happens.

After tens of minutes, the toy is in the corner, your child has drawn buttons on the box in which it came, and is pretending the box is a space ship. 

Let’s explore the “why” behind this oft repeated occurrence. 


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Children are Wired to Learn and Explore

First – this is normal behavior – particularly for those younger kids. You’ve heard it before – they are sponges, taking it all in. When the opportunity arises to apply some of that newly acquired knowledge, particularly in imaginary play, they will normally grab that brass ring. Dr. Tim Jordan, a leading expert on parenting girls, puts it this way:

Kids of all ages LOVE big boxes; you know, the kind that comes from that new refrigerator or appliance.  It allows their creativity to go wild. They can build whatever their hearts desire, using their own imaginations. They will make up games and scenarios that they play out; again, it’s about having the freedom and autonomy to pursue their own interests. It’s the same reason kids love a box of grandmas old clothes to play dress-up games.

– Dr. Tim Jordan

With infants exploring the world, it’s often about texture, sound, and sight. Crunching that wrapping paper, playing with a shiny bow, and banging on an empty box is just as rewarding as squeezing the new stuffed animal. In reality, the box, wrapping paper, and bow engage her developing senses in ways the stuffed animal just can’t. The infatuation with the packaging is a result of normal childhood development.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Check out these two cuties having a ball with their carrier boxes – basically ignoring the little stuffed animal.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii4byJsqqHQ”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Build a Scaffold for Play

With older kids, playing with the box can be an opportunity for scaffolded play time. Consider:

  • The box is perhaps an unplanned (though we know it will probably happen) material for play.
    • It’s open-ended and flexible.
    • It can be anything the child imagines.
  • Give them time to explore, to experiment with the box.
  • Encourage that experimentation and exploration
  • Ensure a safe space for the activity.
  • When play is over, help the child tidy up.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Don’t fight it. The box will always retain its allure. I have a hard time not wanting to make the refrigerator box in the basement into a time machine, and I’m 43. Remember this: the box may have contained a really awesome toy, but your child’s brain contains limitless imagination – and that box is a blank canvas for its application.

You can join in, too. It’s okay. If you need me, I’ll be in my time machine.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Kindermusik’s Gift Guide

gift drum

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]What’s on your gift list for the sweet kiddos under the age of 7 years old? (Besides Kindermusik classes, of course!) Maybe you’re actually feeling a little stumped or even overwhelmed. It happens to the best of us this time of year when it comes to gift giving, especially when choosing gifts for kids.

As Kindermusik educators, we happen to know a little something about what makes kids tick and best of all, what makes their faces light up! Here are a few of our favorite recommendations in the “Instruments and Props” categories that are sure to bring a huge smile to that special little someone’s face.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Inspiring Instruments

We love the Remo Floor Tom for all ages.  It’s colorful, durable, and not too hard on the ears.

Older kids will love exploring lots of sounds and rhythms on this unique Wood Tone/Slit Drum.

The Baby Band Instrument Set is a fun 4-piece set that will have your little one tapping and jingling away!

This Mini Orchestra set is so adorable, you’ll want to sit on the floor and play-along with your child’s favorite Kindermusik songs too!

For your older creative genius, how about this Saxo-Flute?  They build it then play it… and then take it apart all over again!

Who wouldn’t be impressed with this kid-friendly, eco-friendly Musical Band sized just perfectly for your pint-sized drummer?![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]scarves[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Playful Props

Any kid will go crazy over a Bilibo!  (And yes, they can double as a sled in the winter and a beach toy in the summer.)

Kids of all ages love the sound and endless creative possibilities of a classic kids’ toy, pop beads.

Gertie Balls are great for happy, squishy indoor play too that usually doesn’t do too much damage if it gets hurled in the living room.

Sensory Balls are perfect for rolling, bouncing, exploring, and yes, slobbering on especially if you’re under the age of 1 and still working on cutting those teeth.

Kindermusik’s light and floaty scarves make great gift wrap and once unwrapped, also foster a delightful game of peek-a-boo or magical scarf dancing.

parachute

Fun for the whole family!  This colorful, 6-foot parachute brings everyone in on the movement, play, circle dancing, oversized peek-a-boo, and more.  (A smaller version of what your Kindermusik educator might use in her classes!)

Happy shopping, gifting, and enjoying the smiles![/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Shared by Theresa Case who has an award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, South Carolina.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]