Saturday, April 24, 2010
Singing and two year olds
I was teaching my class on toddlers yesterday and we happened to be having a day where students could bring two year olds that they knew for a kind of watch, listen, and learn session. I talked with them about the value of singing in the classroom as a means of building children's language skills. I then said, watch and see what happens. All of the children were busy playing with sand, blocks, hitting musical instruments, etc. I started singing a simple little song that I have used thousands of times with toddlers and almost immediately all of the movement stopped. The noise of the children exploring the materials stopped. All of the children looked over at me. Toddlers are not good at doing two things at once and as long as they are paying attention to the song they stop and watch. I then went on to talk about how this is a useful technique if you are trying to stop a behavior or redirect a child. Adults can think, sing and fix things at the same time and by the time the song is over the play has been re-established and the children are ready to go back to work.