Monday, March 30, 2015

Parent child play around age 2-3, more than just play

Learning, experimenting and adventure go hand in hand with developing skills, language, communication with friends, friendships, space comprehension etc.

An ideal age to broaden children grasp of space, objects and people along with building their curiosity and thirst for broader experiences is 2 years +/-.
The main areas are the home, the playground and a yard - with or without grass. In each of these areas you can play with or without accessories, while we as adults need to figure out how to enable a certain amount of freedom, while setting boundaries and rules.

Four possible directions:

1. A hoop
a round object with a hole, colorful and very interesting, and there are lots of playing options with it.
play in-out which can develop to land/sea as the child grows older; ; roll it forward and ask the child to roll it back or bring it back by hand; spin it on your hand or body and let the child try and spin it; run towards it and sit inside. If there are several children you can draw a start line and each child will run towards its hoop/ the only hoop in a short race. You can also free play or dance with it, with or without music.

2. The playground
Usually we encourage the children to climb on ladders, slides, swing on the swings etc., or let them play by themselves.
You can add an adventure and discovery aspect - climb all the first level of all the ladders; crawling and looking for a hidden ball or hoop; passing through unusual passages at the different playground's facilities; hanging from every rope, pole etc. - which is also great for the shoulder belt and for balance.

Improvising the way they swing or slide - back and forth, together, to the sides, walking up the slide etc.

This might seem a bit intimidating and scary to you parents - and yes, it does require us to allow them more independence than we are used to, but this will enhance their learning skills, and especially will strengthen the joy of joint experience and revelations.

3. The body
 the human body is a fascinating playground of its own for children. You can climb it, roll with it, make funny shapes and voices, balance with it, pull, jump etc.
Children are great mimics, and they love it when you mimic them back. Allow yourselves to loosen up, free your mind and make goofier stuff with the kids. You will all enjoy this, and they will also benefit from a higher self-esteem, better body vision, and lots of metrical advantages.
The main bonus is creating a closer bond based on mutual quality time while having a mutual fun activity.

4. Language
Language is an excellent and important tool. I recommend talking to the children as much as possible - during games and playtime, a variety of word for each experience, important concepts, rhymes, word and songs games etc.
Using more language variety and games will enrich their vocabulary and their ability to express themselves.


All the posts and materials belongs to Sharon Michaeli- Ramon ©

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

See music and rhythm

As part of the work I'm doing with my class I try to stimulate all the senses, and to interweave different kinds of experiences and study methods - Both from the notion that every child has a different way of learning, and from knowing that different experiences (thinking, moving, imagining etc.) contribute to the cognitive-physical-emotional development.
The different experiences are part of the study material, all intended  and contributing to my main goal and labor as a teacher - building and reinforcing the children's self-esteem.

Every other week or two we hold a rhythm session in class - drumming, playing by a certain rhythm, playing, dancing etc. 
Here, for example, is a sequence of four sessions we did in class:
Session no. 1 - 
We opened with this amazing video I found on 
After watching the video in which you see how music presents itself in different materials we discussed various ways to draw music. Is it possible? I asked the children how would  they draw different kinds of music. 
I played a rather melodic and calm song, and the children drew the music, The diversity was immense: musical notes, letters, pictures, colors, textures, thoughts and shapes.
We came to the conclusion that music can be drawn in many different ways and that it involves not only listening, but feeling, movement, thought, criticism etc.

Session no. 2 - 
I divided the class to several groups of three, and each threesome was guided to show me some sort of rhythm.
The originality blew me away! 
Some took a paper, placed it on a table, then drummed on the table causing the paper to bounce according to the rhythm. Others used sticks to play. Another group waved their sweatshirts in the air, creating sound and air-movement.

Session no. 3 - 
I opened with this video
And then we worked with play dough and hand-colors. Each child received a big paper, and they created whatever they felt like according to what the music stimulated in them. 
Later on, each child presented his or her creation to the class with movement, sound, or

Session no. 4-
A mother arrived to the class and gave a lecture on Kandinsky and "music in the arts".

Working with music and combining it with unconventional demands encourages thinking, criticism, openness, curiosity, interest and lots of fun.
The children enjoy creating, playing, thinking, and collaborating. The challenges increase the experience and enhance it. Additional subjects also arise, such as musical instruments, different kinds of art, physics, science, creativity etc. 

Personally, I enjoy getting to know the kids in unconventional ways, not just by strictly teaching the formal materials, thus, enabling each and every one of them to express different and new parts of themselves; and above all I know that fun is a crucial element in class.

All the posts and materials belongs to Sharon Michaeli- Ramon ©