More specifically, children move when God’s Spirit moves them. Music is a wonderful way to interact with young children. And not just interact, but move! Children are not inhibited when it comes to moving with music, and those who study child development tell us that moving with music is good for them! It’s not distracting from the words and the message, it’s adding to them.
Jacque Negus, national professional educator for Kindermusik and composer and musician, says, “children need to move. Research indicates that physical activity combined with melody helps place the words of a song into a child’s long-term memory. Not only are there physical and developmental benefits in the movement, motions also help us teach Scripture and values that will last a lifetime. Plus, it’s just plain fun to move while we sing!”
In the Sing-Along-Praise Songs songbook, she has included simple motions for you to use while leading the songs (also available on CD or iTunes) with kids. Jacque gives 'Tips for Song Leaders' who work with preschoolers. A few of those tips include:
- Use a light, pleasant voice to model for the children. Sing full enough to lead, but do not overpower the room.
- Repeat songs week to week; sing and move to them exactly the same way each week.
- In all songs, make an effort to use both hands, not just one. It is developmentally important to stimulate both sides of the brain…
More helpful tips are included in this good resource. (available from Faith Alive Christian Resources here).
Summer is a great time to get moving. Challenge yourself to learn 3 or 4 new songs to sing with the Story Hour and Little Lambs children next fall. And be sure to learn the motions.