Saturday, July 16, 2011

Play and Grow Smart-er Tips

Nancy Pyne-Hapke, author of "Play and Grow Smart, A Guide Supporting Brain Development, Birth through Five," has been giving tips to aid your child's optimum skill development through proactive neuroscience-based activities. These ideas come from scholarly sources to personal interviews, from the internet to periodicals to books.
“CREATIVITY” involves imagination, ingenuity, invention/originality, creative thinking, dramatic/visual/musical arts. THE CRITICAL WINDOWS during which the circuits of the brain are being most heavily wired for Creativity is 1 – 4 years with lifelong expression. The more opportunity children have to experience healthy, positive and nurturing Creativity experiences during this critical period, the more efficiently their brains will work over the long run.
A FEW DEVELOPMENTAL LEARNING TOOLS (toys and other objects) for CREATIVITY: • blocks • dolls and stuffed animals • books • sandbox • water • costumes and props • play figures • child-sized dishes and tools • art materials • construction sets • music and instruments
FORMS of Creativity: ART (visual), LANGUAGE (written or spoken), MUSIC/MOVEMENT (bodily movement), FANTASY (pretending).Some general “Creativity: MUSIC/MOVEMENT” tidbits:
•• FROM 18 months, play music with different rhythms, and provide kitchen “instruments” – oatmeal box drum/pots/pans.
•• FROM ABOUT 2, singing spontaneously, Toddler repeats songs/nursery rhymes over and over. Expose her to different musical styles: classical, country, Gregorian chant, rock & roll, opera, rhythm & blues, etc. with solo voices and orchestras. (Pounding/noise “music” is not good for brain development.)
•• SINCE HE IS LEARNING names of body parts and enjoying activities that use these names (touching toes, eyes, elbows), he can do simple creative movements like imitating animals.
•• WHILE BALANCING on each foot for 1 - 2 seconds, she jumps by lifting both feet.
Next week – “Creativity: Music/Movement, Pt. 3”
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