Elements of Movement in Early Childhood, Part 4: Flow
Initiate a discussion with the children on the many ways one can move as they dance. Allow the children to suggest various items they could use when dancing. This fosters skills in creativity, cooperation, brainstorming, problem solving and self esteem.
Inspire the children's imagination, by reading the story Earthdance by Joanne Ryder. The book is filled with enchanting illustrations and phrases, such as "wiggle your shoulders" or "shake your hair", "feel the grass move across your face", "dance slowly" and "spin", excites and prepares the children for the creative movement activities.
Elements of movement in early childhood excites the children as you provide "flowing" music, such as Johnette Downing's, "The Second Line", "Scarves Up and Down and Around" and "Rhythm of the Scarves". Give each child a scarf to flow with the music. In each song, directions are given to promote listening skills. For example, "scarves left, scarves right", etc., marching and rhythm. These are also useful ways to encourage social skills.
Bring out the easels and let the creative juices flow. Provide feathers or bubble wrap for the children to paint with. Always praise and display their art work. Allow them to talk about their paintings or drawings.
Flow, an element of movement in early childhood, may be implemented in math. Pre cut a construction paper "kite", attach a streamer on one end and a short string to the other. With a black marker, number each kite with a number being learned at the time. For older children, use larger numbers, such as 50 or over. On the chalkboard, write the number words. As a child is called to answer, he or she will fly their kite to the chalkboard, point to the matching number word and say the number out loud.
Like a Windy Day by Frank and Devin Asch
Feathers, Flippers and Feet by DK Publishing Staff, Deborah L. Locke
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
Earthdance by Joanne Ryder