Parents have so many choices when it comes to activities for your toddler: art, music, gymnastics, dance etc. It can be hard to decide which activity is best! Here are some research based FACTS as to why Dance is the best activity when it comes to your child and their development.
Children learn through MOVEMENT
The Body is the brain's first teacher and the lesson plan is Movement! (A Moving Child is a Learning Child). From the moment your child was born they learned through movement! From grasping and shaking the rattle, turning their head when hearing a new sound, crawling from point A to point B and learning to pull themselves up to standing. These movements aren't just developing the physical sense, but is building sensory perceptions and critical pathways in the brain necessary to reach their full potential!
Within your child's first year of life, 90% of their neural pathways in the brain will be set for life! (Engaging Families in the Early Childhood Development Story) Those pathways determine how your child will think and learn! Movement is so important to the brain's master plan, it becomes fully automated, so that she child able to move without having to think about it! (Smart Start with P.M.P: A Perceptual Motor Program Manual). Without automated movement, a child would not be able to think!
These senses motivate movement. If your child sees a shiny object, they will will be motivated to move towards it, so they may grasp it. Their sense of touch helps them learn more about the object, while their sense of vision teaches them depth perception and eye tracking. The senses are also stimulated by movement. By raising their arm to reach for an object, then grasping their fingers to touch the object, your child's brain now has vital clues to help them master deliberate movement! (A Moving Child is a Learning Child)
Why is DANCE the BEST Activity for your Child's Development?
DANCE is MOVEMENT Focused!
Early Childhood Dance Classes, like the Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me Class , focus on Movement above all else. Movement is how children learn, and of all of your child's needs, movement is what their body craves the most! This is why your child wants to run, spin, and jump! Movement is teaching your child how their body works! Spinning around and around in circles for example, this isn't a risky activity that should be stopped, but rather an important activity that is stimulating their vestibular system (the system that controls their balance). They are spinning because their body is not receiving enough vestibular stimulation throughout the day. A Class like, Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me , where caregivers and children are jumping, twirling, leaping and more - is a great way to activate that vestibular system in a safe, and fun way!
DANCE is the best for the BRAIN!
Dance combines movement, fine motor development, music, strength, athleticism, coordination, flexibility, self-regulation, social skills and more! It's the singular most whole-child centered activity that we can think of that checks all the boxes! The your child moves, the more they stimulate their brain. The more the brain is stimulated, the more movements is required to get more stimulation! (A Moving Child is a Learning Child) Meaning....your child wants to move and a dance class, like Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me , is a great way to introduce them to a class that will have their brain and body wanting more!
DANCE is MULTI-SENSORY
A good dance class will incorporate ways to stimulate the whole child beyond just their physical development. One way we do that in our Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me , program is through the use of props! We love props and so does your child! Props stimulate their Tactile Sense (or their sense of touch) as we play with props of different sizes, shapes, weights and textures! Visually, props like balance beams improves their eye tracking and depth perception, while playing with a scarf improves their hand-eye coordination. Diverse music options activates their auditory processing as they listen and decipher what the music is telling them to do. Incorporating multiple movement exercises such as jumping, twirling, balancing, crawling, marching etc stimulates their vestibular system and improves their overall balance and coordination. Moving forwards, backwards, sideways and under objects in an obstacle course improves their proprioceptive sense or body intuition!
Dance has it all! I hope to see you in an upcoming session of Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me