Friday, November 16, 2007

Jo Jingles

Notwithstanding what I said about avoiding overstimulation, since the big girls started school I have been taking Little Cherub to various groups and activities. Most of them are more informal, drop-in activities - our Church toddler group, monthly rhyme time at the library, a play session at the community centre, occasionally a pay-as-you-go swimming class. She loves to go places, I enjoy taking her, and having somewhere specific to go makes me more likely to make the effort - late autumn walks are not always appealing and often I need a purpose!

I did, however, sign up for one formal activity with her this term: Jo Jingles music and movement classes. I am very glad that I did, as it is truly the highlight of Little Cherub's week. I used to take Angel to these classes when she was a preschooler and she enjoyed them. I tried them again briefly with Star, and she was determinedly disinterested, but Cherub adores them.

The class I take her to is for one year olds, and is pitched just right for that age. It lasts 45 minutes, but she is totally focused for the entire time and really isn't ready to finish when it ends. While the class is structured - well structured, with a mix of action songs, time playing percussion instruments, simple circle dances, and movement with props - there is also some flexibility. If the little ones want to move around and do their own thing that is OK, so long as they are not disturbing the rest of the group. Cherub often wants to move away from me just to stand a little in front of the teacher watching, totally absorbed in the experience.

Do I think formal classes or activities are necessary for a toddler? Absolutely not! But they can be good if the activity is right for that child, which this very obviously is for Cherub, and if it fits into the week comfortably, without being the cause of too much rushing around and logistical strain.


Faith said...

Ah, this makes me miss toddlerhood! I discovered a music class very similiar to this around here and took some of my kids. They absolutely adored it. And it is amazing how totally focused the young kids are on the class. We got a little tape that went with the class and my kids would listen to it YEARS after with great pleasure.

Karen E. said...

It sounds like so much fun. The music classes around here were a bit too expensive for us, but I was always tempted to try KinderMusic ....