Saturday, July 23, 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 ABOUT 3, what counts are activities using muscles and discovering how things feel. He has growing hand control/coordination and is interested in perfecting movement skills, so he may spend the entire morning going down the slide or riding a favorite tricycle.
•• FROM ABOUT 4 and having increasing agility, Preschooler runs, jumps, hops and skips around obstacles with ease. She likes to gallop, turn somersaults, climb ladders and trees, and hop on one foot. She jumps forward with her feet together over objects 5-6” high.
•• FROM ABOUT 5, encourage Kindergartener to jump, hop, skip, dance, tiptoe and march RHYTHMICALLY TO MUSIC. Teach him how to move his body to dramatize the opening of a flower, falling snow/leaves/rain, wiggly worms/snakes. Dance to music on a bad-weather day to transform rainy-day wiggles/squirms to welcome bursts of free-form movement.
Next week – “Creativity: Fantasy, Pt. 1”
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