The Benefits Of Music And Movement Activities For Kids
How Are Music And Movement Activities Beneficial?
The aim of movement activities is to enhance cognitive, physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. It's documented that music and movement activities stimulate and engage the brain, improve coordination and physical abilities, strengthen social skills, and teach emotional expression in a healthy way.
Music and movement therapy are becoming widely known and accepted in areas of early childhood education and to help kids on the Autism spectrum. But why is this therapy becoming so widely used? And what are the benefits?
In this post, we are going to delve into each of the areas that music and movement activities benefit to see what the big deal is.
Music And Movement Activities Benefit Physical Development
These Activities are a joyful way to develop physical skills
- Movement activities give opportunities to get active. They help with physical awareness, coordination, and balance. They also give practice coordinating muscle groups in a fun, happy way. These engaging activities and games help strengthen coordination, body control, and balance.
Movement games provide a way to hone gross and fine motor skills
- Gross motor skills involve the large muscle groups. So, think of bending over, stretching, catching, lifting, jumping, and reaching.
- Fine motor skills control small muscle groups like pinching and grasping. They include any activities that use small movements in the hands and fingers. And this coordination is essential for many life skills as well as cutting and writing.
- Kids with developmental delays especially need lots of practice to develop these skills fully.
Music and movement games engage all of the senses
- Engaging the senses via physical activities is helpful for all children in the learning process. However, kids on the Autism spectrum need more opportunities and specifically targeted practice.
- Engaging the senses stimulates the brain. It creates neural pathways and improves sensory processing systems. And it also improves social skills such as communication and cooperation.
Music and movement activities improve coordination
- These activities require specific movements that coordinate hands and feet in ways not required by everyday activities. And thereby develop extensive connections across the brain.
- Songs with beat or lyrics which encourage kids to hop, jump, gallop, skip, crawl, creep, and more develop balance and coordination. Interestingly, activities that require these types of coordinated movements help make kids aware of how their body moves and how it relates to the space they take up.
Music And Movement Activities Benefit Cognitive Development
- The benefits of music and movement activities on the brain are numerous. It's been shown that they increase school readiness as well as contributing to school success. Music and movement activities benefit concentration, memory, language, and conceptual processes, as well as influencing decision-making abilities.
- An amazing fact: When language is combined with movement learning increases 90%
- Exposure to music can help children learn. It can even raise their IQ (source)
Music and movement activities improve concentration
- Physical activity, especially directed movement activities, improve concentration. These movement activities, often called brain breaks, do so much for the entire learning process. Studies show that physical activity specifically helps your brain in the areas of processing speed, focused attention, and attention span.
Music and movement activities increase memory
- Sequences and rhythm involved in music increase memory. Which is precisely why facts have been put to a tune for generations. Tunes like the ABC song, multiplication facts, and others are examples of tried and true memory enhancers. But also, just playing games and singing songs to music increases our memory in general. Listening to the sequences and hearing rhythms of words in a song stretches our memories.
Music and movement activities strengthen imagination
- Imagination is a critical component in cognitive development and is crucial for healthy interaction in society as an adult. When children engage in music and movement activities such as pretending to dig or fly, or to be something (such as imitating an animal) it strengthens their imagination. The cadence and sequence of the music help them to visualize, making the activity easier.
Music and movement activities strengthen language skills
- Studies show that music training enhances language-related networks in the brain and improves the ability to detect subtle differences between sounds, which helps with pronunciation.
- Hearing words that rhyme or repeat helps kids understand language and concepts.
Also, hearing words in sequences to a beat (in a song) while doing actions, or movements help kids understand concepts. For instance, if you are moving up and down to a beat with your child while saying “up” and “down” the concept becomes extremely clear, quickly.
Movement activities define and refine social skills
- Group movement activities specifically help with cooperation and collaboration abilities. Working together in a game or song help kids learn to work as a unit. When you play with others you learn teamwork, trust, and respect for others. All of which are invaluable life lessons.
- Kids who are timid in social settings can benefit greatly from music and movement activities. These group games and songs can encourage positive social encounters that will boost their self-confidence.
Music and movement activities encourage healthy emotional expression
- Movement, as well as music, encourages a release of emotions in an acceptable way. They also create a productive way to express feelings. One benefit of providing the opportunity to move is fewer behavior problems.
Music And Movement Activities Benefit Mental Health
- Music and movement uplift your mood. Physical movement has been shown to put us in a better mood, and so has music. Together, they are a winning combination.
- Music is energizing and creates a sense of fun. Movement oxygenates the blood which is then pumped into the brain and uplifts our mood. Our mood is important because it is an important lens for how we see the world and how we evaluate our experience in our daily life.
- Studies have shown that music and movement affect us at an early age. Music and movement studies have been done on infants and have proven to calm them and promote alertness. This goes along with the advantages we stated earlier about music and movement’s ability to help us to reason and think clearly.
Take Advantage Of All The Benefits Of Music And Movement Activities
- Since music and movement activities have so many benefits across all the areas of development it’s a great idea to incorporate as many of them as possible on a daily basis.
- Let's talk about 3 props that are versatile and fun for music and movement activities.
Music And Movement Activities With Bean Bags
Bean bags are a must-have in every equipment room or storage closet! They’re easy to store and can be used for tossing, a myriad of movement activities, and a collection of learning and developmental games. Bean bag activities can be used across the curriculum, at home, or in any therapy or learning environment.
Music And Movement Activities With A Balloon Ball
Our Balloon Ball is great music therapy for little ones to learn how to catch and throw as it is so lightweight. With the lightness and softness of this ball, it’s great to kick around without worrying about somebody getting hurt. It's great to use for turn-taking and can be used as a fun aid in reviewing facts, too.
Music And Movement Activities With A Stretchy Band
Stretchy Bands are great for practicing numerous goal areas and group activities. Practice making shapes, rhythm, and boundary issues.
Kids also love to play group games with the stretchy bands.
Get Going With Music And Movement Activities For Kids
So gather the kids, grab some props, turn up the music, and get moving 🙂