Hey friends! Today is Monday April 9, 2018. How are we already in April? I feel like this year is flying by already even though I must say I am so looking forward to the warmer temperatures. In today’s blog post I wanted to talk about a new activity that Penelope is partaking in now. That new activity is Music Class! Stick around to hear all about her first day and how I hope this fun activity helps her develop in the years to come.
I want to start off by saying that I am no stranger to these forms of music class. For those of you who may not know, I worked in child care for about 6-7 years. The majority of those years were spent as a nanny to many amazing Nashville families and a few were spent as a toddler teacher in several preschools. I loved working with children and it is a huge passion of mine. There really is no greater joy then spending time with these tiny humans who have so much love to give. Watching them grow and develop is probably the most rewarding job in the world. I say all of this to say that throughout all those many years of child care experience I have went to many music classes and let me just say, I enjoyed them just as much as the children did!
I spent all those years taking other people’s children to these classes while dreaming of one day being able to take my own children. So once Penelope was born, I knew this was something I wanted to start her in. I had experienced, with the children I cared for, the major role this program played in their development and I wanted that for her, too. So I signed her up for her first semester and we had our first class this past Friday on April 6. She was by far the youngest in the class, being only 3 months old. I believe the next youngest was about 8 months old. This didn’t really bother me though as I feel it’s never too young to start working on children’s development.
So how did she like it? Well I think she loved it! Her little personality is one where she loves to watch people. Not the most polite trait, but it brings her joy. So she loved watching the other children dance and sing and she really loved watching mommy and daddy dance with her and show her all the fun objects, instruments, etc in the class. I truly believe she is taking in everything she sees and is learning through this format. I myself am very much an observer. It’s how I learn about the world and especially about people.
Another thing I have noticed about Penelope is her love for music. I noticed this from the very beginning of her life. Maybe it was just her love for her mamma (totally giving myself a pat on the back here), but she loved when I would sing to her. She would and still does just lay in my arms and look me in the eyes and watch me the whole time I sing to her. She will smile at me and it is just really this special moment we have. In the car when she gets upset, all it takes is a verse of Amazing Grace by mamma for her to be instantly comforted and for her world to be at peace again. So throughout the whole music class she was just so calm and you could really tell that it comforted her to listen to the music and mommy and daddy sing to her. After the class was over she took about an hour and a half nap from the mental exhaustion she had experienced in that class. It was such a fun experience!
I also love all the developmental things that happen in this music class and others that follow the same style of teaching. First off the social aspect of it all. She is surrounded by different children of different ages, backgrounds, genders, etc. She is getting introduced to different personality types and learning how to handle those. She is learning how to navigate the sharing waters with others and eventually will learn how to play with other children in a respectable matter. This will obviously come with lots of failed attempts at sharing and being nice along the way.
Another developmental thing I love is just all the learning. Within that 45 minute class she heard different musical instruments and was able to touch them and play them and just be introduced to the musical world. They encourage the babies to put things in their mouths (don’t worry we separate these toys to be cleaned later) as this is how they perceive the world around them and how they learn what things are. At several points we counted to ten, touched our body parts like our nose, ears, tummies, etc and talked about what those body parts are and what they do, we talked about colors, different ways to move our bodies, how to be loud, how to be quite, explored the world of opposite in the form of high and low, bright and dark, talked about different animals and the sounds they make, etc. The huge amount of learning that happens during this class is one of my favorite things. Also the fact that the learning all happens while they are playing and experiencing the world around them. I could write a whole blog post, maybe even several, about how important it is that children are given the opportunity to learn through play instead of a structured environment. It’s just how their brains work.
So at the end of the class I was once again pleased with how amazing, fun, entertaining, and educational the class was. These classes are for children from birth until age 4 and we plan on keeping her involved for many years to come.
What fun educational things do you do with your children? Comment below with your answer. We would love more ideas of things to put her in.
Baby Dust To All,