Connecting areas of learning to introduce new concepts is key for young children when trying to make the ideas introduced concrete. By using a hands-on approach through science, language, movement and music children can understand the concept of fast and slow very quickly. Teaching new concepts through the demonstration of "opposites" is also how children really learn to grasp the meaning of new vocabulary and topics. Here are some ideas to try at home when teaching about fast and slow!
Use ramps to show fast and slow. Items that can be used for a ramp include pieces of wood, trim, or even cardboard. Exploring the science of fast and slow motion may be their first exposure to phsyics and gravity in a structured way. Make ramps of different heights using blocks or other boxes to prop the ramps up. Use two of the same object like toys cars, balls, marbles, and so forth. Ask how the ramps look different. Roll the items down the ramps and discuss what your child sees. Then, try using other sets of objects to compare and contrast how different types of items move down the ramps.
Find old kid-friendly magazines to use for this activity. Have your child look through old magazines to locate pictures of things that move such as cars, animals, people, toys, etc. and then cut each picture out. Spread the pictures out on a table and have them sort into two groups - fast moving and slow moving. Get a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle, and label the two columns fast and slow. Have your child glue each picture onto the paper where he/she thinks it fits best and talk about their collage when they're done!
Children learn through movement. Creative movement benefits children in so many ways, so this approach involves having children use their bodies to demonstrate fast and slow. Find two songs, one with a fast beat and one with a slow beat OR one song that has sections with different tempos. Practice moving to the different tempos using examples of animals that move slowly (sloths, turtles, etc.) and quickly (rabbits, birds, etc.) matching their bodies to the way each animal moves while the music plays. After they've mastered moving to the different paces play a dancing game where you switch the music back and forth for them to match their movements along with, demonstrating their new knowledge of fast and slow right before your eyes. Fast movement ideas: tip-toe, jump, scamper, wave hands, pat knees; Slow movement ideas: twirl, sway, rock, crawl, wave scarves.
Sing N Move LLC is owned and opearted by Lena Sandulova-Baeza, licensed Kindermusik Educator, in the Lehigh Valley. Liv Forster is also a licensed Kindermusik Educator at Sing N Move LLC.
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