Outstanding advice for foundation stage professionals
Award-Winning Music and Movement Resources from Funky Feet Music
Children were born to move…are you providing enough opportunities for them to do so?
Funk Feet Music has studied the research, listened to the experts and developed a number of fun, interactive activities that support both body and brain development, for the playful child who loves to move.
All linked to EYFS, this lively collection of toe-tapping, feet-jumping, dough-squeezing, tummy-tickling, hand-clapping, instrument-playing, lycra-pulling, parachute-waving, body-wriggling music provides a fun-filled experience for both adults and children alike.
How can music and movement support your children’s development?
We all know that movement is essential to keeping us fit and healthy, but in addition to this the latest research shows that using movement to cross midlines is very powerful in activating brain development. And adding music makes it fun.
But how can this help on a day-to-day basis?
You may think it’s a long way ahead in the future, but think about the small building blocks your children are putting in place now in the following scenario:
Teacher says: “It is story-writing time and I would like you to write about what you did during the holidays.”
What is involved in this seemingly simple task?
To do this, a child needs to have many skills in place.
They must be able to listen and follow instructions; control fine muscles, and large muscles; they must have balance, posture control and neck strength to sit comfortably in a chair; they need to have good eye strength to focus far away at the white board and then on the paper close up; they need imagination, memory and sequencing so they have something to write about.
They need the left side of the brain, which tells them how to form the letters, to work with the right side which tells them what to write.
Research shows that using movement to cross midlines will speed up the process of transferring information in the brain.
To form letters, a child needs to understand directionality. How do I write the letter ‘a’? It goes around, up and down. Funky Feet Music has many songs that practice ‘positional language’ – up, down, in, out, left, right, forwards, backwards, over, under and in between.
They can boost development and coordination of fine motor skills through finger play, with songs like Dancing Digits, Dough Disco, Five little Fish, practise the pincer grip with ‘Peg the Washing on the Washing Line’ and ‘Pop Up Clown’ and learn pressure through songs like ‘Draw a Squiggle’ and playing loudly and softly on a drum.
Children will develop speech and language through simple repeated phases and echo singing, build eye strength through eye tracking in activities like dancing with ribbons, parachute play using balls and soft toys, following balloons and popping bubbles.
What else can they learn?
- • Spatial awareness: An understanding of space must be developed through physical experiences before it can be transferred to paper
- • Vocabulary development: Built through song words which describe actions, ie role-play songs
- • Development of laterality and independent movement control: Gained through crossing all our mid-lines on a regular basis. We practice this in the song ‘Latino Latino’.
- • Research shows a strong correlation between children that can hop, jump and skip and doing well in formal learning
- • Children learn sentence structure through repetition of phrases in a song, and the slowing down of language in a song, eg Funky chicken