102: Why Kids Need Music and Other Sensory Experiences Well Beyond Summer Camp

music-818459_1920In today’s last Summer Camp episode, we talk about how to get kids the musical and sensory experiences they need – and why they need these experiences so much.

My first job out of college, I worked in the infant room of a day care center with kids age about 6 months old to about 1-year-old. Each week, the center brought in a guitarist to sing and play to the babies, and I was absolutely amazed at how they responded: no matter where they were in our room, they crawled over to the guitarist, dancing in that bouncing-up-and-down way that babies have, grinning and laughing and trying to touch the guitarist in the guitar. It was amazing!

That experience was my first taste of how very badly children need music in their lives.

Then, as a preschool teacher and earning my master’s degree in early childhood education I learned how important other sensory experiences are to help regulate the kid’s mood, workout aggressions, and learn kinesthetically.

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/102 to listen and for notes about how to get music and other sensory experiences into your child’s life!

(Photo by Gavin Whitner of MusicOomph.com.)

Long after summer camp is over, music and sensory experiences are key factors in any child’s well-being.

Try these ways to get more of them into your kid’s life:

– simply playing music aloud is a sensory experience; try to vary the music, moving beyond the Wiggles and incorporating some of your favorites and classical or jazz into the mix

– make shaking-type instruments by placing a few dried beans or peas into a small plastic container, or turning a cardboard box upside down to make a drum; if you play – or want to learn – an instrument, get an inexpensive one; teach your child how to use it without hurting it

– combine 1/2 cup of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water – and food coloring, if you’re brave and enjoy colorful sensory experiences – into a plastic tray or wide, low plastic container; this stuff is absolutely magical because, when squeezed, it gets hard, and when released it becomes liquid and slides off your hand

– invite your little to help you wash dishes; combine warm water and some soap, along with plastic dishes (or at least non-sharp, unbreakable dishes) and a soapy sponge for sensory fun

– try and work in some kind of sensory experience most days; it’s fun, and you might even notice a positive change in your child’s behavior, because kicking back and enjoying sensory stuff simply makes us feel better!

Did I miss your favorite sensory experience for your child, or do you have a question about today’s episode? Please share by going to weturnedoutokay.com/contact, and have a great day!