You may have seen this video on YouTube of a group of kids of various ages dancing in the yard. What a great idea for summer fun and learning outside: play some music and dance!
Young children, especially, need to have opportunities to move their bodies in all kinds of ways. During the preschool years, kids are discovering how their bodies move in different ways and figuring out how the different parts can work together. Not just bodies, but brains need movement. Moving helps create pathways and connections in the brain. Dancing is one way to involve the whole body in moving.
Children learn to tune into the music and to tune out the distractions. In order to link their actions to the music, their brains remember what to do and predict what’s coming next. That’s lots of exercise for both bodies and brains. Being able to sequence one action to the next one is an important higher order thinking skill.
Dancing can help children with reading. Predicting what comes next and sequencing are valuable strategies for reading. Music can help with math. Math and music are both systems that go up and down, notes in music and numbers in math. Both have patterns, rhythms, and waves.
Kids, both girls and boys, love to dance and move to music. They can dance by themselves or with others. As they are dancing, there’s lots of give and take as kids watch each other and respond to what other people are doing.
Kids can dance at their own level and in their own way. In the video above, it’s easy to see who is confident and who is hesitant, who is eager and who needs some encouragement. The song is the same, but the kids dance in their own style. What music and songs do you suggest are fun for some summer outside yard dancing?
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