Moving like the Creatures in the Ocean!

Family Time – “Here, There, Everywhere”      Lesson 4

It was a wonderful “afternoon at the aquarium”, making and playing with our wobbly penguins, gliding like whales through the water, playing with balls like the seals in the sea, and trying to keep those silly balls afloat on the waves of the parachute.  I loved how many of you showed up dressed in ocean themed clothes! 

“Here we go a-swimming in the sea … and STOP… and LISTEN… ” Wasn’t it fun to switch up that song a little and listen to the CD for sounds of ocean creatures.  The sounds of a seal, a whale and a dolphin are on your second CD, and this is a great way to turn this into a listening game. 

“All the fish are swimming in the water…  Hol-di-hol-di-rol-di-ray”   This song, on the other hand allows your family to explore the way the different sea creatures move.along with this catchy tune.  You may need to play the song a few times to remember the melody, it is a little tricky, esp. the nonsense syllables at the end – which the preschool children will truly enjoy singing.  And they will LOVE exploring all the different ways that ocean creatures move. 

The child’s age does not matter.  Include your baby in this activity by giving them some tummy-time fish exercises. Practice important motor development skills by putting your baby on her stomach. Move her arms and legs in swimming motions. Your toddler loves movement and will enjoy the chance to imitate you swimming like underwater creatures. Ask your preschooler: Are you a fish, an octopus, a seahorse? He will love telling you an entire underwater story as you say, “and then what?” to continue the game.  It is also helpful to use a book or pictures that portray these “mysterious” creatures to help them become more concrete in the child’s mind, esp. since most children don’t get to really see these creatures that often.   See my Resources BLOG for a list of great books on the theme;  http://mcresources.wordpress.com .

These ways of moving help them stretch their body and their imagination to recognize and practice ways their body may not have moved before.  This type of activity expands their abilities to creatively problem solve.   If you don’t exactly know how to move like a particular word listed – ask your child, and while considering the ocean creatures movements come up with some creative ways to “scuttle” or “spout”.

 Aquarium Animals in Action 

Fish – Swimming                   Whales – Gliding, Spouting              

Dolphin Dolphins – Leaping                

Penguins – Wobbling                       

Seals – Diving                         

OctopusOctopus – Wriggling, Squirting             

Starfish – Creeping                

Crabs – Crawling sideways, or backside down                            

LobsterLobster – Snapping, scuttling    

Seahorse – Wrapping round the seaweed                        

Turtles – Crawling on the sand   

Sharks – Swishing, chomping                                                 

EelEels – Slithering                        

Blowfish – Puffing  

Movement is truly a critical aspect of the learning process.  “Children learn best with their bodies.  By providing a venue for movement, children have a chance to “try out” a variety of expressions.  Being sensory learners, children should be encouraged to move, use their imaginations and large and small muscle groups, and be engaged mentally and emotionally.  Physical, mental, and emotional developmental qualities of young children are so intertwined and interrelated that when one area is affected, the other two areas are equally affected.”  adapted from “Music, Movement and the Mind” by Nicki Geigert, 2006. 

See you next week for a “Day at the Farm”.  Please feel free to wear your ho-down clothes, and bring a stuffed animal (farm-related please). 

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