INDULGE IN PLAY, IT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR US AND OUR CHILDREN

When we play and really enjoy the lost in the moment playful activities, our brains release the chemical dopamine that gives us a sense of excitement, joy and allows us to move in a highly coordinated way. Play stimulates our senses, creativity, learning. It activates our brains, with over 80% of our nervous system involved in processing and organising  all the sensory input from our bodies and the surrounding environment.

Play with your child and give them many rich sensory experiences within a secure, nurturing environment. Appreciate nature. Look at the moon, a sunrise, a beautiful sky. Go to the beach, swim together, play in the park, go for walks to new and interesting places, climb a hill, trees, explore, make up songs, stories, dance, read, go to the library, cook together, collect treasure, make things with the treasure you find.  Move, dance, sing and play. Playing keeps you young and vibrant. When we are playful we are flexible,relaxed, loving, sociable, creative. We can take risks, we can come up with new ideas. Taking time out to play helps us to problem solve and come up with new solutions and new ways of doing things.

Children learn the art of play. They learn how to do things in a variety of ways and how to adapt to changes. They learn to play alone or with others. They learn how to lead and how to follow.  They learn the rules of play and can also create new rules of their own in a playful game. Through play we learn to let go of the things that are stressful. Play involves laughter, humour, sharing and caring.  Wonderful carefree play builds strong, positive memories that stay with us for life.

Babies are play partners from birth. Play is as important for them as food and sleep. Play gives babies and children a strong sense of belonging, connection and wellbeing.  When parents spend much time gazing at, talking,singing, dancing playing, touching, holding their baby, this helps healthy brain development, promoting high levels of oxytocin and endorphins in the brain. Play fosters a strong loving relationship which is essential for helping children to become confident, caring, creative, self assured and loving members of society.

Take time to play, to laugh, to make music, to enjoy the wonders of nature, be flexible and enjoy all the rich playful experiences together. It will build strong bonds of love, energise, inspire, enrich your life and your soul.


REFLECTIONS ABOUT MUSICAL PLAY WITH THE CHILDREN FROM JAMES ST by Sarah Marra

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It was wonderful to see the children in both the nursery and preschool become really settled in their music routines today. They are familiar with our routines – coming to the same place, starting with the Hello song, twinkle twinkle and finishing with “music time has finished” and Ka Kite.

We have intentionally repeated some of our songs from last week to encourage learning in a familiar environment. This week I noticed a wonderful amount of singing coming from the children. They were happy to sing along with the melody and form of the songs that we had practiced previously and are now beginning to incorporate movement and dance too.

We have been working on body awareness with our body pitch songs in all of our sessions. As the developmental ages increase throughout the morning so do our pitch songs. The nursery is focusing on labelling body parts, the 2-3 year olds are now including counting up to 5 with accurate understanding of body in relation to pitch, and our 4 year olds are now including counting up to 8 and back down again.

The rakau sticks have been a wonderful exploration of hand eye coordination for all ages. The children have been encouraged to offer ideas and we have supported their offerings in song. As the routine has become more familiar we notice more children willing to share their ideas during their music time.

This morning we also encouraged the children in team work, supporting each other – this was shown in simply taking a partner for ‘row row row your boat’ in the nursery, or more complexly in the preschool with sharing their partner’s rakau to create shapes.

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Shell, Shell, Little Shell

Shell, Shell, Little Shell

ELSIE REMEMBERED THE SHELL PATTERN WE USED FOR RHYTHMIC NOTATION. THE CHILDREN HELPED TO ARRANGE SHELLS ON  THE FLOOR TO FORM RHYTHMIC PATTERNS.

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In our music classes we use a variety of found objects such as shells, stones, flowers to set out a simple rhythmic pattern. The children can help to arrange the patterns which we chant, clap, pat and dance.

Elsie used to come to my music class until the first term of this year when the family moved to Nelson. Two year old Elsie remembered us setting out shells on the floor for the rhythmic pattern shell, shell, little shell. When her dance teacher used this same rhythmic pattern, Elsie insisted that the class had to used the shell chant ” Because that is what we did in Julie Wylie Music.” We would reinforce this pattern through movement: Walk, walk, running walk.  

FOR A SPRINGTIME PATTERN ARRANGE DAFFODILS TO FORM THE PATTERN: DAF, DAF, DAFF-O-DIL

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