Vocal play was the “call” of most of this term’s Kindermusik lessons. Nice timing as B is also acquiring language – a gradual development process that includes listening, facial interaction, symbolic play, means-to-an-end behaviour, object permanence, imitation and vocal chord development. Vocal play engages the vocal muscles intensely and is great preparation for expressive speech. Exploration with sound also increases spatial reasoning, which is the ability to understand how things relate in space and time, to visualise the world accurately, to form mental images of physical objects, and to recognise variations of objects.
We were encouraged to keep up vocal play by exaggerating the shape of the mouth, using animated facial expressions and eye contact via mirrors and/or positioning yourself within his view. In addition, we should sing often and invite him to accompany on instruments. Kids actually start singing early by babbling, repeated words and fragments, and finally adding rhythmic features and pitch components. Singing is enjoyable AND beneficial in both cognitive development (abstract conceptual thinking, verbal abilities, originality) and motor development, esp. coordination. Besides sounds, we did some symbolic play too with feathers, toy birds and paper “leaves” to teach that one thing can represent another, starting with familiar items. This correlates to language acquisition in that a word represents an object. The first stage of symbolic play usually manifests from 6-8 months and becomes more sophisticated as they grow with imaginary and role play. This time there were new syncopated swing and jazz song-and-dances! “Sing a Song of Sixpence” (dig that groovy intermission!), “Gee, But It’s Great to Meet a Friend” and “Once I Saw a Little Bird”, “Hop To It” and “Duck Dance” which explored the tribal calls of the muskogean people and combines vocal play with singing in a fun way. 😀
- Feathers for lunch. Lois Ehlert, Harcourt Brace and Jovanovich Co.
- Baby Steps. Claire Kopp, WH Freeman and CO.
- Singing Bee! A Collection of Favourite Children’s Songs. Compiled by Jane Hart with pictures by Anita Lobel, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books.
- Trees, a poem. Harry Behn, illustrated by James Endicott, Henry Holt & Co.
- CD. Brahms at Bedtime: A Sleepy Serenade.
On a side note, I renewed B for one last term at Chengzhu Playnest and Kindermusik Village to supplement mama’s morning “right brain class” (plus books, numbers, phonics, music and outdoor activities where possible). He also had his MMRV booster shot yesterday. Thankfully there’s only 2 more jabs till the next series at 10 years old. Pheew! He’s now 11.3 kg, 81 cm at 15.5 months, understands lots of words, vocalises some, learning to self feed (patience and mess are a challenge for me!), naps ~2 hours once a day, sleeps from 830p to 730a with occasional waking (argh), and works on his gross and fine motor skills every chance he gets. What a busy boy!