We often have classical music playing at our house throughout the day, and almost always while we eat dinner. Josh is a musician, and we hope the kids inherited his musical abilities rather than mine. I like to have a variety of music playing off of our iTunes in the playroom, and we have especially enjoyed “The Classical Child at the Ballet” and “The Classical Child at the Opera” lately. The opera CD has famous pieces sung in English, which is really helpful for little children I think. Both kids like to dance to the music, and Jack uses his excellent sense of rhythym to wave his arms like a conductor or bang the little hand drum we have in time to the music.
We are fortunate to have a piano, and Hannah has absorbed the “one finger at a time” lesson and the location of middle C. I’d like to work more with her on the names of the notes and maybe a basic scale this fall. Jack likes to play too, but his version veers more toward banging at the moment.
There are some great books available about music, such as “Zin Zin Zin, A Violin” and books about orchestras from a child’s perspective.
As I’ve mentioned, I prefer children’s books to have excellent illustrations, which is a form of art appreciation I suppose, and we also enjoy books specifically about art, such as Lucy Micklethwait’s series and James Mayhew’s Katie books.
I’m going to try to integrate more crafts and art projects this fall, to branch out from the usual crayons and playdoh. Hannah is not that good at using scissors, so I’d like her to practice that skill, and I think if we do more things outside the kids will be able to experiment with different art media without trashing the house. The bathtub works as a good art studio too. I think this series on watercolor techniques may be beyond my kids for now, but if you have older toddlers you might want to check it out. I’d like to do some good crafts about autumn and Thanksgiving, so please let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions!
For other motor skills and physical education, we mostly dance around, throw balls, take walks, and do somersaults. I’m getting a wee bit too pregnant for somersaults this fall, so I may let the kids take over the tumbling exhibitions for a while!