What's in store for today?

Familiarity... It's such a simple thing, and yet knowing what to expect can bring such a sense of security and comfort. If you look at your daily routine, and you'll find there is usually a sequence that your day follows. Now picture someone coming in and messing with that routine. You have to come in to work 2 hours earlier tomorrow morning. Your job responsibilities change, but no one can tell you exactly what is expected of you. You go to the grocery store, and they have changed all the aisles around. I'm guessing you would feel pretty frustrated by the end of the day. Now picture that same frustration in the body of a young child.
Children like to know what to expect and thrive on routine. If you think about it, a young child has very little control over what happens to him throughout the day. They depend on us to feed and bath them. We are responsible to put them to bed and ensure their daily care. If you don't have an established routine in your home, it may leave your young child just as frustrated and out of control as you would have felt in the above scenario. Familiarity brings a level of comfort and security that allows your child to freely explore their world and comfortably transition from one activity to the next. It also benefits your child as he learns more about sequencing. Here are a few ideas to help with your routine.
  • Sing a song when it's time to change activities. You can use a favorite song or even make one up for bath time, dinner time, or a favorite lullaby for bed time.
  • Use a picture chart to map out what to expect each day. As each item is finished, remove it from the chart using tape or velcro. You can find some free pictures here.
  • Use sequencing activities and songs, such as "B-I-N-G-O", to strengthen the "what comes next" concept for your little one.

Featured Artist - David Jack

David Jack is an award-winning children’s recording artist who brings originality, upbeat humor and a refreshingly hip musical energy to his concert audiences nationwide. He is that rare children’s performer who appeals both to kids and to their parents, and he is rarest of all, a fresh, new and important voice in the children’s music field.

All of the songs David performs are original–which is very unusual in the children’s field–with music composed by him and lyrics written by his older sister, Susan Jack Cooper, a former “Captain Kangaroo” staff writer. David grew up in Levittown, Pennsylvania but graduated from UCLA with a degree in Music Education.

David Jack has given concerts and has entertained at Children’s Festivals all over the United States. He appears frequently on TV and radio. David was invited for two consecutive years by President and Mrs. Clinton to perform at The White House Easter Egg Celebration as well as performing the National Anthem at the Oriole Stadium in Baltimore for an audience of 30,000. He is probably best known for his eleven (11) years of performing an exclusive daily performance engagement at Ph iladelphia’s Anheuser-Busch theme park, Sesame Place. Sesame Place is the only theme park in the country based on the hit TV show Sesame Street.

A.K.B.F. is a D-O-G (A Kids’ Best Friend is a Dog) earned him the highest honor in children’s music, the coveted Parent’s Choice Gold Seal Award. David’s previous album Gotta Hop! And Dance In Your Pants also earned Parent’s Choice Honors Awards as well as the “1993 Best Product Pick” awarded by Early Childhood News. His We Love Saturday and Snuggle Up Cozy recordings are both winners of the “Best Kids’ Music” National Parenting Publications Award. His sixth recording entitled Bop-Along Songs! can now be found in major retailers across the United States and on the Internet.

I heard that!

Recently on our Facebook page, we focused on the parenting topic of multi-sensory learning. Using all of the senses for learning helps your child to better retain the information gained from the experience. It requires active participation in the learning process and engages the whole child. There are lots of great ways to use this approach to enhance listening skills with your children. This vital skill helps your child develop social skills such as conversational skills, new vocabulary or proper word pronounciation, or listening to directions in a classroom setting. Music has been found to greatly enhance listening skills in young children. Try a few of these ideas out at home!

  • Go on a sound hunt with your child. As you "spy" different sounds, see if your child can identify the sound and mimic it.
  • Sing silly songs with your child and encourage them to make up new silly words that would rhyme. 
  • Leave out a word or phrase in a familiar song and enocurage your child to fill in the blanks as they sing along.
  • Encourage your baby to listen by allowing him to watch your face when talking to him. Sing simple songs and mimic his sounds if he tries to "sing" back to you.
  • Sing echo songs together. You can even make them up as you go along.