Thursday, February 27, 2014

Some Tools for Your Mommy Toolbox: Fingerplays!

The importance of toddler and preschooler fingerplays

Here are mother's forks and knives
This is mother's table
Here is mother's looking glass
This is baby's cradle
  • provides an opportunity to combine fun and language exploration
  • enhances words skills
  • increases number of words they know
  • develops emergent literacy skills
  • teaches rhyme and poetry
  • provides opportunities for listening and speaking
  • encourages coordination of words with physical actions
  • allows naturally squirmy toddlers to become active when they are required to sit and wait- Mom's bag of tricks during a Dr. Office wait or a church meeting!
  • increases attention span -super duper important skill to develop during this age
  • increases manual dexterity and muscular control -earlier success with musical instruments!!
  • allows for self-expression
  • pre-frontal brain development -the short period of time (age 1-6) when your baby's brain is being wired and pruned for attentiveness and positive social interactions!
The pre-frontal area of a baby's brain, the area responsible for social skills and relating to people, develops rapidly at age one and two and after that it begins to be pruned. That is, the pathways that are most used stay put and the pathways that are used less get pruned away. As you take the time to fingerplay, read stories, and get on the ground to play with your child, your child will keep the pathways that allow him to be attentive and relate to others. 

Though it may make life easier and sometimes calmer (in the moment) to have your child interact with technology, he will be losing out on the opportunities for developing the very important pre-frontal area of his brain. Those opportunities are fleeting. Mother's Forks and Knives, Wee Willie Winkie and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star from the Gold Stars semester are some great tools to have in your mommy toolbox for bonding development as well as all the other reasons listed above!!!
*referenced Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain
by Sue Gerhardt
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and Author of ‘Why Love Matters’ and ‘The Selfish Society’
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