Every parent wants their child to be smart, thoughtful, and well-adjusted. We look to family, other parents, educators and neighbors to seek support from the community on the best ways to support our child’s growth and development. Literature shows that 80% of the brain is developed by the age of 3. A key developmental process in the growing brain is myelination, which is the maturation of the brain cell that protects the neuron and enhances message transfer and efficiency. Young children have a need to move, and movement stimulates brain development and myelination. The understanding of a child’s need for movement, and the connection to brain developmental processes informs us of best practices and strategies we can engage in to support our young child’s growth.
Even with the latest information on early childhood brain development, many parents and teachers fail to practice music and movement in our interactions with children. Recognizing the importance of movement and its relationship to brain development helps us to find ways to support our young children. Music and movement can be educational in content to support cognitive development, and is also incredibly fun! Have you ever turned on your child’s favorite song in the middle of a tantrum? Music tends to change the mood of the situation, and engages the feeling part of the brain- it’s also a nice distraction. Have you ever walked in to an early childhood classroom when the teacher was playing preschool songs? If so, you probably noticed the connected mood of the children and the positive atmosphere of learning. Music stimulates the brain and allows for cognitive and social/emotional development. Whether it’s a song about the days of the week or songs of confidence, lessons and skills can be taught and learned through music.
For more information and a live broadcast on this topic, join First3Years webinar series in the month of April as we discuss this topic in detail, and strategies for using music with young children. REGISTER HERE *Enter promo code BLOGPARENT for $5 registration (a $10 discount).*
Written By: Natalie Baerwaldt, First 3 Years