Children need to learn and develop so many skills at an early age. Since there is a lot of learning to be had, why not try and make it fun?
We love coming up with new and exciting ways to incorporate learning with music.
Bean bags: what are they?
Beanbags can vary from a small bag to a large cushion, either filled with beans or polystyrene beads.
Bean bags can be used in music and movement classes – or when listening to music with your kids at home.
They are a really engaging way for young kids (especially toddlers and preschoolers) to learn new skills… and here are just a few reasons why.
Using Bean Bags to Develop Throwing and Catching Skills
Learning how to hone in on kids’ hand-eye coordination can be very difficult. When you turn on the music, consider adding a bean bag into the mix! Bean bags are soft, small and they can be easily caught, however, they won’t hurt if they accidentally drop on an unsuspecting toe.
Have the kids throw the bags up in the air to the beat of the music you’re playing. Not only will they be practicing how to release the beanbag, but also will automatically begin to try and catch it as well. Those actions go hand in hand. Pairing it with kids’ songs makes acquiring these skills even more fun.
If you would like more ideas on how to teach your child to throw and catch, these fundamental tips for teaching throwing and catching will prove helpful!
Bean Bag Games Teach Children How to Balance
Children don’t always have the best balance. Thankfully, this is something they will develop over time and with practice. Dancing and moving to the music can help with this and you can make it more fun by using bean bags at the same time.
Have your kids place the bean bag on top of their heads. By trying to keep the bean bag on their head they become more aware of what they have to do to balance it there. When an object falls to the ground, it makes it easier to understand what balancing really is.
Here are 7 fun games to improve balance to work on balancing skills even more with your kids.
Bean Bags can Help Kids Understand Spatial Awareness
It is no secret that kids are not the best at knowing what is around them, whether it be toys, furniture, or other people. When you introduce a bean bag during musical activities, you are giving them something to pay attention to other than the song and their arms and legs.
The kids will have so much fun twirling the bean bags around that they will turn their focus to the bean bags and without even knowing it, the objects and people near the bean bags. They will no longer continue to bump into each other since they will be paying closer attention to where the beanbags are going and what they are by.
If you’re a teacher or early learning professional using bean bags during music and movement classes can also add a fun experience for the kids. When the kids are having fun they are more likely to stay engaged longer periods of time.
Bean Bags Help Develop Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills are important for kids to learn at any age – but especially for toddlers, preschoolers, and even in kindergarteners. To make kids’ musical games and activities more beneficial, use bean bags.
We already talked about the beanbags helping young children develop throwing and catching skills. However, it’s not just about that: by releasing and catching beanbags, the kids will focus on using their fingers and thumb muscles. Since the beanbags are small, your kids will have to concentrate on how they are using their fingers and thumb muscles to release and catch the beanbags.
After a while, these movements will become easier for the kids. They will no longer have to focus as much on the finger movements. Their muscle memory will start to kick in and take over from there.
Want to See How to Put These Into Practice?
To find out how we did all of these things before you do it with your children, take a look at our video below!
You’ll find lots of songs to teach children, help them develop new skills, and move to the music on the kindyRock app. Click here to learn more!
Are you a teacher? Our membership platform for early learning professionals has lots of extra resources to add to our music. Lesson plans, activity ideas, extra training, and more. To get a sample, check out our free songs with teaching notes on this page!