In Wind Dancers we experience moving our whole body to the beat as we practice walking, skipping, hopping and twirling in time to the music, as in Hi-Dee-Roon. We respond to a variety of speeds as we gallop to See the Pony or change of meter as we find partners for Rig-a-Jig-Jig. We choose and explore some everyday, familiar motions in What shall we do? We create flowing shapes with our bodies in The Wind Blow East or unusual contortions and expressions in Be-Ba Butzemann. This week, our upcoming Hop Along, Mr Hare will have us crouching low and hopping faster than Mr Tortoise can ever move. Traveling movement activities include free dances like the Wild Rider, circle or line dances (that spiral) such as Wind the Bobbin, or choreograph inspired by recorded movement stories such as Dance of the Leaves and Bug Music.
Did you realize how much these activities energize your child’s brain? Some people think that we get our children up and moving to work all the wiggles and giggles out of them, but there is more! Sometimes our Musikgarten curriculum calls for us to participate to learn a specific spatial or musical concept, but there are other times when vigorous movement gives the energy necessary to focus on the next activity, such as a listening game or sensory game.
Some popular traveling movement activities involve the unique skill of stopping on cue. This skill needs practice as your child loves to move and, whether walking, running, or jumping, it is hard for him to stop on cue; just like the brakes on your car, it takes a few seconds – or more – for him/her to respond. This can be explained knowing that your child’s movement center is better developed than his/her language center. Impulse control is when a language cue overrides a motor cue, and your children need to have many opportunities to develop this particular skill.
Finally, you may be aware how I like to encourage us to cross over the midline, in both stationary and traveling movement activities in class. There are distinct benefits to practicing this, and this article explains so well why we address this skill.