It is Vacation Bible School week here at my house, and naturally, the songs from the week are stuck in my head. It is all I can think about and it is driving me CRAZY!
See, I’m the songleader for the entire group – almost 300 children. It is exhausting because they are all excited, the songs are peppy, and I naturally fall into that “spastic mommy” mode with them. But, by noon when the whole thing is over, I’m a zombie!
I have to hand it to the creators of our curriculum, though. They know what they are doing as far as including some key elements of child development in with this week-long program. One of the most obvious concepts that I have experienced this week is centered around movement. See, not only do I teach the children the songs for the week, but I also teach them the movements that go with them.
One of the first things I learned in my child development classes was on brain function and ways that we can encourage brain development in small children. There are things you can do with even infants that will develop a more complex relationship between the hemispheres of the brain. By physically crossing one part of your body over to the other (bending at the waist from side to side with your arms over your head, touching your right hand to your left knee, crossing your arms in front of your body), you are encouraging snapses to form between the right and left hemisphere. And, the more complex and related the parts of your brain become, the more “brain power” you have. Fun, huh?
So, I’m watching these 290-something children, dancing around, following the movements, and having a BLAST, and I notice the sway of the arms above the head from side to side, the motion of the left hand to the right side of the body, and the cross-over kicks they show in the video. It is amazing to think that, right there, right in front of me, all sorts of exciting things are happening in their heads. All with a little music and a lot of movement.
So, dance with your child, no matter how young or how old. Get those bodies moving, not just for your physical health but for your mental health as well!