Good ol’ Gross Motor/ Letter G

Welcome to this year’s A to Z Challenge! This year I’m talking Child Care. I’ll be blogging topics related to my many years in the family home daycare profession. I hope you can find a tidbit of information that is useful in caring for children whether you’re a parent, grand or another important person in a child’s life. And to end each post, I’ll share a bit of my creative side/relaxation time. Taking time for yourself is good for your health–both yours and your family’s 😉

Change your career path if you want kids to sit still all day. Everyone who understands children agrees that they must MoVe. Commonly referred to as Gross Motor skills or Large Muscle Activities, it is an important part of a child’s day. Going outside is the simple solution, but what about those days when weather isn’t cooperating—or you have a pandemic and aren’t able to keep the required distances outside your space? I’ve got a few ideas you may or may not have seen on Google.

I’ve previously mentioned the banjo as my tool. Sorry but it’s my first line of defense. You sometimes, as an adult, ‘Go Brainstem’ and must do what you know. So 2 things happen with the banjo appearance, or any instrument, puppet, uncommon tool you decide to pull out of your hat. #1. They want a turn at it. In my case, they want to strum or touch the strings. So lessons occur on sound, soft touches, an sometimes, breakage. #2. They want Action. For me it’s nearly always “Play Fast, Stephie!!”. But there is more.

A few ways we utilize the music business is to get out a few ‘rugs’ (carpet samples) and keep everyone in their own space for safety. Arms flay, bodies sway and feet kick so it is important to start this #Social Distancing in the very beginning. After playing fast for them and the wiggles have been exerted a bit, we do singing. This will include Loud/Soft versions, various voices such as a goat voice, thunderous voice, mousy voice, etc. I even keep a song stash tub filled to the brim with paper strips to draw out songs we often consider essential childhood songs. (They take turns to pic the selections).

Another use for the rugs is to form circles or musical bridges for practice at stepping one rug at a time in a particular direction. Who’s 1st, last, and who’s on and off the bridge, name an animal before you cross, who’s not headed the same direction, tip toe like a ballerina or stomp like a troll. Give them a scenario like the rugs are rocks and the rest of the floor is hot lava or it’s an ocean full of sharks. Create a ladder in their minds to imagination. Grab a bean bag or just a simple rolled up sock and have them balance it on their head as they move around. Give them instructions like pass it behind you, place it on your arm, hold it in your left or right hand and more. Try Simon Says on the rugs. Hold hands and play Ring Around the Rosie or other sing other nursery rhymes. (Nursery rhyme practice is also good for handwashing by the way). Also let the children add their ideas. They love being in charge! Skies the limit. Embrace your inner child. Before you know it, it’s lunch time and hopefully, they’re ready for a break while you cook.

Speaking of breaks, had to get mom’s yard in order yesterday evening so the hand work(crochet) was minimal. Sewing was more masks in the early afternoon, but I’m only gonna share so much of that business. I decided to show some spring blooms mom requested I capture for her.

Hope you’ll take time to check out other A to Z blogs in the month on April. Click here to find the list. Click here for the Official A to Z blog. Have a great day and stay safe!!

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