How cute dancing toddlers are! Swaying from side to side, waving and clapping their hands - as soon as they hear music! You can’t but melt with joy when you watch them twirling, twisting, marching. It’s amazing that babies can demonstrate very sophisticated dance movements even before they can speak. Dance is undoubtedly one of the most basic expressions that are innate to us. And the benefits of dancing for the child’s development are enormous!
Switching on music for toddlers, parents enrich the atmosphere for recreational activities and, therewith, encourage physical exercises. Cheerful songs will certainly get kids on their feet! The little ones can tone up their muscles through simple dance movements like rocking side to side, raising and lowering hands, swaying arms back and forth, jumping from foot to foot. Such dancing sessions boost babies’ gross and fine motor skills development. Furthermore, if you want your kids to improve balance, coordination and sense of space, offer them dancing in addition to regular physical activities.
Dancing affects babies’ emotional state. Why not cheer up? Joining in a dance with the little ones, all family members can have fun together and share a good mood with each other. Moving to the beat of various funny songs gives a chance to clown or mimic movements of animals and robots. By means of dancing, kids learn to interact and use the body language for self-expression. And young performers can be very creative with “pirouettes” and “pas”, giving freedom to their imagination!
Besides parents’ selection of greatest hits, toddlers listen to and dance to their favourite tunes - either played on toy players, or sung by other musical toys. Take, for instance, singing and dancing plush animals or electronic learning toys with dance and movement functions: they offer a great variety of melodies and can stimulate kids’ dancing providing short fun instructions and fascinating demonstration! And, of course, children develop their own preferences in music and dance. Babies who love playing with toy microphones sing and dance to the beat of popular melodies. Those who prefer musical instruments improvise on toy guitars and keyboards, tapping along with newly invented dance steps. How brisk the child’s marching can be when accompanied on the toy drum or tambourine! These playful activities facilitate sensory training and help to enhance auditory skills and develop a sense of rhythm.
Dancing is a great idea for a change of activities for kids at home as well as in nursery schools. Such “music and dance breaks” often include steps memorizing and repeating, which develops children’s kinaesthetic memory and has a positive impact on cognitive development.
All kids’ parties involve entertainment with various dance elements and rhythms to be performed individually or in cooperation with others. Thus, the little ones communicate through dance and get a chance to practise their social skills and develop social awareness, which, in its turn, is absolutely necessary for successful communication in the future.
Dancing at play, some kids may show a keen interest in this kind of activity and start attending dance classes. Due to parents’ and teachers’ support, boys and girls get inspired to train their skills and develop natural talents to the full, and may even continue to master the art of dance in future years and take it up as a lifelong hobby or a profession. So, let’s dance!