My Tiny Dancer

Monday, May 2, 2011 by Teacher Talk

I love teaching at Gymboree Play and Music because we invite little ones & their families to experience a world of wonder and joy during each class.

One of my favorite Gymboree memories involves a Play & Learn 6 Creative Thinker, Quinn. Alongside her mother, I've watched her grow & change. During...
• Play & Learn 2 (6-10 mos), Quinn brought her hands to mid line & delighted us all with her enthusiastic clapping, showing us she could have an effect on her environment and the people around her.
• Play & Learn 3 (10-16 mos), she stood and took some of her first steps to retrieve a ball, socially communicating her interest by gesturing & pointing at it as it rolled away.
• Play & Learn 4 (16-22 mos), Quinn figured out the meaning of the words hard & soft by pounding out the rhythm of thunder and rain with our lummi sticks. Her mother, Lawan, later told me she was glad it was in our house & not hers!
• Play & Learn 5 (22-28 mos), she used objects and words creatively in pretend play. Using multi-word phrases, Quinn began to contribute class ideas while blowing bubbles to "water" beanbag "seeds", she looked at me & commanded "Bubble rain!"

Now Quinn's a big girl & forming logical connections between multi-scheme play (28-36 mos). After building a "bird house" with colored tiles & lummi sticks and hatching a nest of playball "eggs," we retired to our parachute "bird bath". I modeled some movements that little ones & their grown-ups could do while we listened to Bobby Darin's "Splish Splash." What did my tiny dancer do? She slid across the parachute, Tom Cruise style, with an imaginary microphone in hand & proceeded to shimmy, shake, and rock out with moves that bested some grownups I know! Not only did she show us her great dance skills, but by grasping an imaginary microphone, she showed us some advanced symbolic reasoning skills! In that moment, Quinn also invited us to join her and abandon ourselves to joy, teaching us to open ourselves up to wonder.

Class Type: Play & Learn
City: Silver Spring
State: Maryland

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