By Beth Pinyerd
Happy September 1 from Classroom Observer to all families. As Early Childhood teachers, we are always looking for days to celebrate with our young children. This week, Sept. 1 through 7, is National Waffle Week which children of all ages love to celebrate with all kinds of delicious toppings. Those folks who enjoy pieces of bacon with your waffle, International Bacon Day is this coming Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. The month of September is recognized as “Better Breakfast Month”. As parents and teachers, we recognize that a good breakfast provides energy for our children’s bodies to not only perform better, but behave better.
As I look at the forecast for September, I noted that September is Classical Music month and National Piano Month. The classical music era was 1750 to 1820. This era signified a more simple kind of music than previous eras. This is when the woodwind section of the orchestra made its appearance. Bassoons, Clarinets, Flutes and Oboes are woodwind instruments. Clarinet is my favorite woodwind instrument. I still find so much joy in the memories I had playing in the Opelika High School band in the 60s and 70s. Marching at half time during football games, parades and festivals is when music brings a community together.
Some composers we recognize from the Classical Era of Music are Beethoven, Mozart and Hayden. In 1994 President Clinton proclaimed September as Classical Music Month.
Also National Piano Month is celebrated in September. We remember the dazzling music of Liberace which kept the young and old dazzled with his range of the piano keyboard. We can think of other pianists in our community who practice many hours in order to share their gifts of music. The inventor of the first piano was Bartolomeo Cristofori in Pudua, Italy, around 1700. So we honor pianists as well as piano makers during this month. If you know a piano player at your church or in the community, this is the month that you can show them appreciation.
We early childhood teachers love to integrate music with our teaching and classroom environment. I absolutely love to walk down the halls of our preschool building as I listen to young children greet the morning with songs. Humming, singing or a baby gurgling indicate a child is happy. Children love to make music.
Infants quickly recognize a parent’s singing voice. Part of bonding with an infant is for parents and caregivers to sing to their babies. You do not have to be on key at all to sing to your young child.
Toddlers and twos are great imitators. Toddlers love to listen and do songs that involve motions with their hands and feet. Preschool age children enjoy music just for music. They love to sing and hum when they are playing and doing their little jobs. Young children love and respond happily to music directions. Try it at home.
Playing music in your home or car is thoroughly enjoyed by your young child. Music can definitely set the mood for a happy day. One goal that a young child tries to accomplish is to pucker their lips in a whistle. It may take a while to learn but while they are learning they blow little tunes through their lips.
Children love to do moving exercises with music. They love to dance, skip, run and jump to different rhythms. Clapping a simple rhythm helps your young child with comprehension, memory making and math. Using music to help your young children to memorize words, math facts and other lists plants it in their memories.
Point out in nature different birds that chirp and sing. Just by being outside going on a nature walk, children can listen to many different animals that just might be communicating in a song. Too, as fall and winter approach and the winds begin to blow, a young child can use their imagination as they listen to the wind blow in song.
Parents, there are so may CDS in the early childhood world to teach and entertain your young child for hours. Young children love to make their homemade instruments with pots, pans, spoons and empty boxes around the home. On taking afternoon naps or going to sleep at night, sweet lullabies relax your child and help your child to drift off to sleep.
There are so many ways for you as a parent to share the gift of music with your children. Wake up your young child with a song on their heart. Plant a song in your heart as well.
As I looked into the celebrations of September I noticed that American Kennel Club celebrates Responsible Dog Ownership during this month. I am a very proud dog owner to a furry forever friend named Cookie. I realized quickly that owning a dog brings on many responsibilities. Too, this month is celebrated as Happy Healthy Cat Month. All cat owners know that taking care of cats takes on many responsibilities too. This is where children can learn responsibilities in taking care of their pets whether it be a dog, cat, parrots, goldfish or hamster. With your children this month you can emphasize that we will honor our pets by taking care of them. For example, providing cats and dogs safe places to eat and drink water, as well as the feeding routine. Take turns among your children of walking your dog to go to the bathroom or let them out in your yard to take care of bathroom needs. Take turns providing clean litter boxes for your cat. An essential part of care is to spend time with your pets. Dogs and cats love to play. Provide toys for them, both cats and dogs love to go outside. Also be sure to make regular visits to the vet.
Happy Labor Day to all! We celebrate Labor Day this coming Monday, Sept. 6, 2021. I know the Greater Generation and Baby Boomers remember that we did not start to school until after Labor Day when we were growing up. This day celebrates what community helpers do as we approach this day off for many of us. We deeply appreciate all our workers who make our community function.