Whether the adult is sitting in a chair or sitting on the floor, generations of children have loved to sit on those big knees and bounce up and down to a good rhyme or song. Almost every Village, Our Time, and Family Time program includes NEW lap bouncing songs, and you will need them to keep up with your child’s seemingly insatiable desire to keep bouncing… and singing.
One of my children’s favorites is called “Trot to London”.
Trot, Trot, trot to London, Trot, trot, trot to Dover,
Watch out “CORA“, or you might fall OVER. (Change to own child’s name)
(At OVER, lean the child far to one side, then bring back up – if sitting in a chair. If you are on the floor with them, you can even lean them over far enough to land safely on the floor and off your lap. This gives them more opportunity to use their energy to get back up and on your lap, not just all of your energy to bounce.)
Trot, Trot, trot to London, Trot, trot, trot to Lynn,
Watch out “CORA“, or you might fall IN.
(At IN, spread your legs away from each other, and let them gently fall IN between your legs. This can be a real surprise twist for the child the first time you do this. Be sure to hold onto them loosely as they fall downward, then either bring them back up to your lap, or have them crawl back up on your own.)
Developmentally, this is a power punch activity.
Physically, their body is moving in ways that help them develop muscle strength and balance. And by giving their vestibular system a workout, they are learning where up is, where it is not, and how to get back to the upright position.
Verbally, they are hearing the rhythm of speech, as with all reading, rhyming, and singing activities, that will help them learn to speak well. They are also learning the WORDS to the things their body is feeling and doing, TROT, OVER, IN. These are paired up in their neural connections and will help them make the transition to using words for objects and actions.
Since they are learning contrasting ideas, such as OVER and IN, their cognitive brains are storing this information for later use when they are trying to solve problems, like how to explore the empty box they are playing in.
Musically, lap bounces are a perfect way for young children to experience and develop a STEADY BEAT, a key element of making music that also aids in all sorts of physical development such as walking, bouncing a ball, and even writing!
I could go on and on, but I hope you get the idea of how this simple activities can really benefit a child’s developing mind. And using music really enhances the whole process, allowing them the opportunity to love learning, and to seek repeating these enjoyable activities. And yes, once you have “trotted to London” about a million times, and your back and knees are complaining, you are welcome to say “It’s all Ms. Debbie’s fault.”
I got lots more “lap bounce” activities, as well as a wealth of wonderful music and movement activities, just join me for a Kindermusik class. I hope to see you in August!