From enhancing motor, decision making, visual learning and language skills to social-emotional development (just to name a few!) it’s easy to see that the arts - music, theater and art - can have a profound impact on little learners.
The best part? Bringing the arts into play at home or on-the-go is easy-peasy! Check out three simple ways you can bring music, theater and art into your daily routine and play time:
1. Create A Portable Art Activity Kit!
Art is a simple and engaging activity that can enhance your child’s creativity and fine motor skills. An art activity kit is a great tool you can use while at home (as everything’s all in one place ready to go!) or while you’re running errands, at appointments, or wherever you may be! Even adults have caught on to how de-stressing and relaxing coloring can be! Giving your little one creative freedom and allowing them to create what they want when they want not only occupies them but helps develop essential early childhood skills! How can you make a portable art activity kit?
Stop by a Dollar Store and pick up a small, inexpensive storage container or pencil case. Make is easy for you to carry! Parents have lots to keep up with - make this on-the-go kit something that isn’t bulky and that can be easily tossed around while also staying securely closed.
Stock up on Dollar Store coloring books & art supplies - no need to be fancy!
Provide a few different choices - crayons, markers, coloring book pages, play-doh, stickers, yarn, glue, etc that will keep your child engaged and curious.
2. Bring Music Into Daily Activities
Starting at birth, parents instinctively use music to help calm and soothe babies. We know the profound effects music has in affecting babies’ moods and stress, but did you know these affects also take place in little ones? Music will can also enhance social and fine motor skills!
Newborn / Infants: Begin with simple, short songs you can sing while doing daily activities like getting dressed, eating or during bath time! Try using soft, soothing music to calm and relax.
Toddlers: Dancing, dancing and even more dancing! Encourage little ones to bust a move to their favorite songs - which helps enhance their fine and gross motor skills! Singing simple, repetitive phrases (baby shark, do do do do do do!) and encourage ing them to re-create the rhythms they’re hearing to help enhance word recognition and memorization skills.
Pre - K: Do you have a little one who just loves to sing….just to sing? These little ones just love hearing their own voice while singing and aren’t afraid who hears it! Try playing songs that ask them to do things, such as “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and that incorporate things that are familiar things to them such as animals, toys, people and more.
School Age: These kids love sing-a-longs that involve spelling, or even remembering a sequence! School-age children are often introduced to playing actual musical instruments through lessons during this time - encourage them to try and seek out what they’re interested in learning more about.
3. Encourage Pretend Play Wherever!
Dress-up, make believe and imaginary play are all parts of dramatic play. Help your little one pretend that a rock is a spaceship zooming to another planet or dress up like pirates and hunt for buried treasure around the house. This dramatic play helps them expand their social and sharing skills while it also nurturing the imagination of those big and small!
Keep a box of props, accessories and books in your home that can ignite your little one’s creativity and imagination whenever they’re looking for a fun activity
Ask open-ended and creative questions while running errands or on-the-go - who says clouds can’t be dinosaurs and cowboys - or cowboys riding dinosaurs?!
Dramatic or pretend play doesn’t need to have every accessory or detail provided to be successful - let your little one’s creativity and mind wander as they decide what everyday objects they can re-create into a fantasy world and what personalities they want to portray and experience for themselves!
Bringing the arts into your daily routines will not only add fun and creativity into your child’s day but will also help your little one develop essential early childhood skills along the way! From learning about empathy during pretend play, language and word association through music and fine motor skills through art - there are so many reasons to add more of the arts into your child’s daily life and it's so simple to do so!