Tag Archives: activities

NYC’s Best Summer Programs for Kids are Here!

Yesterday marked the first day of June and the beginning of the summer season (ok, the first day of summer is June 21 but we’re definitely not counting). Many new classes and camps in NYC are starting this week and throughout the month, and there are lots of summer programs for kids of all ages, whether your little one is dying to get outside for soccer in the park or hit the gym for tumbling and strengthening. See some of our summer picks below, and check out Kidz Central Station for a full variety of classes!

standard_Teeny_Tumblers_2Jodi’s Gym. This Upper East Side program has it all when it comes to gymnastics for little ones. These weekly classes will get kids running, jumping, singing, and tumbling all summer long, and offer just the right exercises and activities for every age and skill level. There are three different summer sessions available to accommodate busy summer schedules, and classes are for kids age eight months to five years. The first session of summer starts this week!

Evolution Enrichment Center. Whether you’re looking for summer drop-in classes or a weekly camp for preschool-age kids, Evolution Enrichment Center has it all. Classes include unique offerings such as Science Ninjas, Yoga, Jewelry Design, and their signature class, Rhythmic Gymnastics, or you can opt for their Preschool Summer Program, which includes a variety of these fun activities as well as daily lunch for campers. Starts June 29.

Kids ‘n Codingelementary school students in computer class. In today’s world, coding is an important skill to have, and the earlier you learn it, the better off you are. Kids ‘n Coding is a great kids’ coding program located in downtown NYC, where your little ones can get a leg up and learn all of the coding basics. During the month of July, the program is offering two one-week sessions for kids as young as six years old on Coding Robots—basically a step-by-step coding intro through fun games and activities with robots!

Music for Aardvarks. Music is always super fun for kids, but when it’s outdoors during summer in one of NYC’s beautiful parks it’s even better! Music for Aardvarks’s summer session of outdoor music classes starts June 23, and it includes the same singing, dancing, instrument jam sessions, and music storytelling found in all of their upbeat classes. You can find them everywhere from uptown in Central Park to Rockefeller Park in Tribeca, and there are tons of times available so you’re sure to find one that works.

Tennis Innovatorstennis boy. The perfect choice for sport-loving kids, Tennis Innovators’ Summer Camp session not only includes tennis lessons (with stroke development, private instruction, fun drills, and games), but its daily schedule also incorporates soccer, basketball, and baseball on nearby outdoor fields! Camp starts June 15 and runs through September 4, and parents can register kids for weekly sessions in the morning, afternoon, or all day long!

Wait, there’s more! Visit Kidz Central Station and search summer programs by age, location, date, neighborhood, and more!

10 Ways Kidz Central Station Will Make Your Life Easier

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If you’re new to Kidz Central Station, or if you’ve only visited us a few times, you may not be aware of all of the things we can help you do to make your life easier. We know NYC parents don’t have a lot of time to search through the hundreds of of kids’ programs that exist, so we created the site so that you can search, find, and enroll in NYC classes and activities all in one place. In an effort to help all of you busy parents out there, here is a list of 10 things you can do on Kidz Central Station that will help you and your little ones make the most of the site and find the best activities for spring and summer!

  • Search classes, activities, and birthday parties by age, date, type, budget, and neighborhood to find exactly the right program for your child.
  • Enroll your little one in semester and/or drop-in classes at hundreds of local programs. Choose what fits your busy schedule—we’re adding new summer classes daily!
  • Send a direct request to any of the amazing birthday party providers on our Kids’ Birthday Party Finder, get for more information about their parties and request a party date.
  • Use our homepage event calendar to find one-time classes and activities. You can click on whatever date you are looking for something to do, and TA-DA!!, a list of activities for that date will appear.
  • Sign up for classes that have started at a prorated price! Just because a class has already started doesn’t mean your child can’t join the fun.
  • Still haven’t decided on a spring semester class or want to try something out for summer? Search for a trial class and get a taste of what it would be like if your child was enrolled for the semester. Once you try, you can easily come back and buy the class.
  • Read class reviews from the people you trust most—other parents. We think it’s important that parents review programs and classes on our site so that other parents can get an accurate view of the class and how their children will like it.
  • Share your findings with friends! You can email or share classes via Facebook from every activity page.
  • Purchase Kidz Central Station gift cards as birthday presents! Parents will love that their kids can try new classes, and will be especially grateful that it doesn’t take up any room in an NYC apartment!
  • Buy classes and save! Kidz Central Station awards Kidz Rewards points for every purchase, so by booking with us you‘ll earn discounts on future classes. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Finally, we are here to help you all day, every day. If you have any questions at all—about using the site, new classes, or anything else—email us at info@kidzcentralstation.com and we’ll email you back as soon as we can!

 

 

 

These 4 Awesome Kids’ Programs Can Fit ANY Busy Schedule

Kids have crazy schedules—between school, extracurricular activities, and family time, it can be hard to fit everything in. So if you’re looking for a kids’ program to fit your busy schedule—instead of cramming in an activity at an inopportune time— check out these four programs on Kidz Central Station that allow you to create a class when it works best for your child!

Island Swimming. A 36-year old award-winning swim program, Island Swimming comes to you whatever day, time, and location (at a pool of course) that works for you! Their collegiate swim instructors custom design each program to meet your child or groups’ specific needs, whether you have a toddler learning to swim or need a training program for an advanced competitive swimmer. All you have to do is request a program through Kidz Central Station, and we’ll contact you to create your private or group swim lesson.

Chess at Threestandard_IMG_0855. Chess is a tough game, so the earlier you start to learn it the better off you are. Chess at Three can help your child do just that—and at the time of your choice! This full-service tutoring company has fantastic instructors who will travel anywhere you’d like in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Lessons are 50 minutes long for private or group classes, and use fun stories and challenging games to teach kids all about the complex game of chess.

e.t.c custom events. This program is incredibly unique in that it custom designs classes, activities, and parties of any kind—no really, the sky’s the limit. From scavenger hunts at the zoo to Frozen-inspired arts and crafts classes, this company can plan a one-day experience, a week-long workshop, or a birthday party extravaganza—whatever you can dream up, they can create it. Just request more information through Kidz Central Station, and they’ll do the rest!


Jam With Jamie
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. Create your own playgroup with Jam with Jamie, a lively and entertaining musical experience for kids of all ages. With a guitar in hand and plenty of instruments for the little ones, Jam with Jamie musician hosts 45-minute classes on a day and time of your choice for up to eight kids. These awesome entertainers also do birthday parties, and offer a variety of great packages that not only include live music, but also puppets, face painting, balloon making, and more. Check out this video to see what they’re all about!

Great NYC Kids’ Classes for Fall

As New Yorkers, we pride ourselves on certain qualities: we’re cosmopolitan, confident, and open. We love our city because of the unique opportunities it provides to experience the best in education, culture, art, and science. Of course, we want to pass those values and that love on to our children and help them take advantage of the opportunities that are available to them. We at Kidz Central Station can help! Below are our picks for the best New York City-centric classes for the Fall.

  1. Art Adventures and Story Art-Ventures
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Is your son or daughter a junior Picasso or Pollock? Encourage your little artist by enrolling her in a creative adventure. Claire’s Creative Adventures, based on the Upper East Side, boasts a variety of offerings for students ages 2 to twelve. Art Adventures and Mini-Art Adventures introduces children to modern and contemporary artists and gives them the supplies to try their hands at creating their own masterpieces. Field trips to city galleries draw on the wealth of art displayed around New York. Does talent run in the family? Try the Parent/Child Workshop together. To give your child some artistic inspiration, sign her up for Story Art-Ventures at Let’s Gogh Art NYC where students from ages 2 to 4 are read a popular children’s story in every session, followed by the completion of a unique art project related to the story. The class also incorporates age-appropriate math, science, writing, geography and history concepts. Depending on the theme, students might also sing, dance and play games.

  1. Little Scientists and Magical Math
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Many of the best minds in the country are based at New York’s myriad institutions of higher learning. If your child is a budding brainiac, check out these intellectual outings: Little Scientists, offered in lower Manhattan by Little Peep Prep for kids from 16 months to 3 years old and by the 14th Street Y in the East Village for ages 3 to 5, provides a venue for mini-Einsteins to conduct hands-on experiments and discover the natural world. If your son or daughter has more of a mathetical bent, Little Peep Prep’s Magical Math for students from 20 months to 4 years old provides children the opportunity to count, sort, match and explore a variety of materials, allowing them to naturally understand the relationship between everyday life and math.

  1. Animal CareAnimal Care

Healthy, local food is a New York obsession. We sign up for farm shares and patronize farmer’s markets, but your city kid may wonder a farm is, exactly, or maybe she’s just an animal lover. Either way, sign her up for the Animal Care class at the Art Farm in the City, an indoor organic farm on the Upper East Side. Students from ages 4 to 7 participate in a variety of stories, games, and other activities. Every session includes actively caring for the animals in the Farm’s indoor petting zoo, up-close encounters and time to record observations. Before it’s time to go, students can read an animal themed book or just relax with a favorite creature on the Farm.

4. ¡HOLA! A Playgroup in Spanish

There are hundreds of languages spoken around New York City. It’s never too early to begin teaching your child a second language; in fact, as we’ve previously discussed on Kidz Buzz, young children’s brains are primed to learn new languages. The ¡Hola! program hosts Spanish-language playgroups and after school programs for aspiring polyglots from ages 18 months to 8 years in multiple locations throughout Manhattan and Queens. The program focuses on a wide repertory of concepts to build vocabulary and help children acquire the correct use of phonetics from a native speaker while also enhancing children’s cognitive abilities, fine/gross motor skills, and social and artistic capabilities.

  1. PopFit and JumpLife KIDSPopFitphotohoopjump

New Yorkers are some of the most physically fit people in the country, but students sit in classrooms for most of the day during the school year, and with the decreasing prevalence of physical education classes in schools, it’s more important than ever to help your child stay active throughout the year. PopFit Kidssignature class, in combination with its junior class develops “The Fab Five”: Cardio, Balance, Flexibility, Strength and Endurance, in students ages 3 to 8 through energizing circuits, dynamic drills, exciting games, yoga, and more. JumpLife‘s appropriately-named kids’ class in Tribeca caters to older students, ages 8 to thirteen. The unique 45-minute trampoline workout distinguishes itself by its atmosphere of non-competition, where students can express themselves and avoid the pressure of organized sports.

The suggestions above only scratch the surface of the wide range of fun, educational, and enriching classes listed at Kidz Central Station. Kidz Central Station does the work of finding and researching kids’ classes for you. Sort offerings by activity type, age, price, schedule, and location and peruse the in-depth descriptions and reviews to identify the perfect class for your child.

Introducing the First Class Ticket

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As both parents and members of the parenting industry, we’ve been asked a lot of questions about raising kids in New York City. Many parents, especially those outside NYC, seem to think there are a lack of kid friendly options available in the Big Apple, but we find that the biggest problem is choosing from the over-abundance of possibilities: schools, parks, theater, museums etc. and then there are all of the activities and classes.

We love having all these choices, and they are among the reasons many parents decide to raise their children in NYC. But figuring out which option is best for your kids and family is often a challenge itself. It’s with this in mind that we started asking parents we’ve met at various Kidz Central Station events, “What would make choosing a class for your kids easier?” The answer over and over was, “give me choices but don’t overwhelm me with options.”

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So, we thought about it. We talked to some of our amazing class providers, and we’ve come up with an answer that is a win-win for everyone: the First Class Ticket. This one ticket buys you and your child the opportunity to sample four different types of classes, from four different providers, and all within a similar neighborhood or area. And all of this costs less than $10 a class. We’ve done the leg work so you don’t have to. All you need to do show up and play, learn and watch your child thrive. When you find the class (or classes) that fit you and your child, you can sign up for more with confidence and ease. We hope you love it and that it makes your life easier and more fun!

Here is how it works:
It’s this simple: buy one First Class Ticket from Kidz Central Station, try four different classes, offered by four amazing providers, in one general area, all for under $10 a class. Pay only $39 for classes valued at more than $120, when purchased individually. With the First Class Ticket you and your child will sample a new music, art, physical play and enrichment class. All you have to do is sign-up, save money, time, and hassle while trying out a handful of amazing classes. It’s the best ticket in town to find the greatest kids classes NYC has to offer this Fall!

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The following is a list of the providers and locations available on the First Class Ticket Fall 2013:

FIRST CLASS TICKET – UPPER EAST SIDE
NY Kids Club, TLB Music, The Art Farm in the City, Moosiki Kids, Lets Gogh Art

FIRST CLASS TICKET – MIDTOWN EAST/WEST
Wee Ones Club, Kids at Work, Let’s Gogh Art, NY Kids Club

FIRST CLASS TICKET – DOWNTOWN
Little Peep Prep, Swaddle Waddle, NY Kids ClubMusic Beans

There are a limited number of First Class Tickets available. Classes are available for children aged 6 months to 24 months. Limit of one class per child per venue. Sign up and find your new favorite class today!

Let us know what you think!

Children Approach Museums with Excitement and Know-how!

Claire’s Creative Museum Adventures Brings Children’s Art Education to NYC’s Museums and Galleries!

Are you a NYC family wanting to expose your children to the fascinating world of art around you that they can enjoy?  Do you have friends or family members traveling through NYC seeking a truly memorable cultural experience together?

We all know that New York City is known for its culture and the arts.  It’s world-class museums and galleries provide an extraordinary opportunity to learn!  So how can your child take advantage?

Creating unique professional artist or theme-based visits that are educational AND entertaining is not an easy feat!  First, children tire easily.  Even getting to the artwork can be intimidating in large museums, especially those like the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  And how do you know where to begin?

There are ways to demystify not only the museum, but also the art processes, while making them easy to understand and fun to learn!  Following a few simple rules can help.

For many museums, just getting to certain galleries can be a hike.  First, know where you are going before setting out.  You don’t want your child to see it as a chore if you have to cover too much ground.  Pick a small section each visit to explore more fully.

Next, select just a few pieces that are in close proximity with each other, which provide ample learning opportunities based on one theme. Locating the artists with something in common helps to bring home specific ideas, without wearing out your child.

Many artists may seem too sophisticated to share with kids.  Not so!  Breaking down the art processes of artists and making them easy to understand and fun to learn can be exciting!  Of course ages and special interests are important to consider for each visit; Explaining color theory to a 4 year old by using the Impressionists may be too much, however, Ellsworth Kelly or Roy Lichtenstein is a great start.  Balance and line exploration using Calder’s mobiles, or even metal-working with pieces from David Smith and John Chamberlain, is a pragmatic way to teach.

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Kids don’t want a lecture!  Since there is no teacher like doing, actually making artwork in front of a piece of art is instrumental for kids!  Knowing what materials work best, and which ones are appropriate in a public space, is also not easy.  That’s often where experts come in.  You may not feel comfortable bringing in recycled materials to discover El Anatsui’s magic, however, you can never go wrong with pencils, colored pencils or wire for your first endeavors as a parent.

Be sure to switch it up:  construct, collage or create colors with separate visits.  Since a child’s attention span is short, each project needs to be divided into simplified steps, and include more than one simple hands-on project.

Some great first galleries I would suggest are the modern painters at the Met.  There are beginning discovery lessons in line, shape and color here like no other!  Then those lessons can be applied to more artists, once digested.

Keep it simple and fun.  You want your child to be eager to not only go to see art, but excited by the process…  and if you become a learner with your child along the way, you’ll see them making connections and coming to their own conclusions you would never have thought of!

Don’t miss out on the amazing educational opportunity to discover art with your child by using your city’s resources.  You may also wish to take advantage of an experienced and engaging tour leader to illuminate your experience.

By Claire Munday, Founder of Claire’s Creative Adventures, LLC for kids ages 2-12.  Museum and Art Adventures uses NYC’s modern, contemporary and multicultural art resources to go beyond school curricula to “demystify” artists and their processes. Children (and their accompanying adults) are introduced to modern and contemporary artists as well as diverse cultures, based on current exhibits from the myriad of NYC museums and galleries, providing all of the supplies, education and entertainment while actively engaging the children in the fantastic world of art from museum arrival to departure… Click here to book your next tour or class!

 

 

Is Your Child Tapping into Their Creativity? 10 Things Every Parent Needs to Know About Kids and Creativity!

Green leafy vegetables, a good night’s sleep, and… art. Art isn’t just a hobby, it’s a must. Did you know that ART is vital for your child’s health? The benefits of art are scientifically proven. Here are our top 10 reasons why every child needs ART in his/her life.

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1. Children master communication skills through art. Art provides an opportunity to share important feelings that cannot be expressed verbally.

2. Art fosters positive self-esteem by allowing children to express their individuality and uniqueness. Art creates a feeling of accomplishment that children take pride in.

3. As children explore creatively, they experiment and thus discover new assessments and solutions. This “how” and “why” thinking of art builds problem-solving skills along with out-of-the-box thinking skills.

4. Self-expression is an intrinsic human need. Through art, children express their true, authentic selves freely in a healthy, safe and nurturing environment.

5. Art classes are social and engaging. Art gives children an opportunity to build their social skills through creative play, sharing, and enjoying one another’s artwork.

6. Art is a form of relaxation and meditation. Your child is able to relax and relieve stress while having FUN!

7. Creative learning is directly linked to the overall health of children’s brain development.

8. Art enhances focus and memory. Art classes are even linked to higher test scores!

9. Art is directly related to enhanced fine motor skills. Creating specific brushstrokes, cutting small collage papers and a variety of other artistic techniques teach children the art of fine motor skills.

10. Art offers children a lesson in safe, healthy, “unplugged” FUN. With art, children unplug from technology and learn how to plug into the joy of good, wholesome fun.

By: Rebecca Schweiger, Founder of The Art Studio NY & Internationally Renowned Artist. The Art Studio NY offers children’s art summer camps and inspiring children’s art classes all year round. Click here to see their classes and camps listed on Kidz Central Station.

 

Tips to Choosing Kids’ Classes

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You’re at the park pushing your baby on the swing. The mom next to you with a baby who looks similar in age smiles. You smile back. She asks your child’s age. She mentions her son is just a few weeks older than your daughter. A familiar conversation ensues in which you bounce back and forth between bottles, naps, separation anxiety – all of the usual suspects. Then the question pops up that never fails: “What classes is she enrolled in?”

When we were in our teens it was “Where do you go to school?”, our 20’s was “What bar did you go to last night?” and for parents it is “Where does your baby take classes?” or “Where does your child go to preschool?”. As a maternity consultant, I get asked this question a lot. People want advice on the best facilities. Some moms believe classes are the gateway to Harvard. Others choose to opt out of them all together and find free, fun city activities. I see both sides. As a working mom away from her children eight hours a day, I wanted them to have a consistent routine of activity. Although I felt classes were important, I aimed for quality over quantity.

Classes are a great way to not only provide social interaction for your child, but for you as well! Being home with a baby/toddler all day can be isolating. Classes provide a structured schedule in the week and get you out of the house. Mommy-and-me classes give you focused one-on-one time with your child without the everyday distractions. In addition, classes foster muscle coordination, music and art appreciation and social development. While I do not feel it is necessary to have your child’s schedule jam-packed with multiple daily activities, I do value providing a few diverse options for older babies and toddlers as well as a preschool or preschool alternative for two & three-year olds. There is a myriad of options for classes across the city. Here are some tips for choosing them:

1. Research the classes in your neighborhood. Use word of mouth first for what your mom friends prefer and then narrow it down by proximity to your home, budget, and schedule.

2. Request a free trial. If you are going to invest over $500 for a semester of classes, make sure you know what you are getting. Try a few out to see what feels right.

3. Choose a class that will not interfere with your child’s nap schedule. For a toddler with two naps, try one in the late morning between the naps. For an older child with one lunchtime nap, aim for morning or late afternoon. For the over-three set, try a preschool program earlier in the day so they are energized.

4. If you are looking for a healthy balance, choosing one gym class and one music class per week is a good start. These build different skills and won’t become too redundant. Some facilities offer longer classes that combine both physical skill-building and art, which is a great way to break it up.

5. Get involved. The best thing about classes is sharing the experience with your baby/child. Play with the instruments, sing the songs, be silly. Before you know it, they will be attending classes or school without you and you will miss it!

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6. Don’t always feel you have to keep up with the Joneses. Your child is not going to be the next Bill Gates because you enrolled them in classes while they were still in the womb. Do what makes the most sense for your family – not just what others tell you to do.

Kidz Central Station is your go-to resource for NYC classes. They make this process a whole lot easier and seamlessly guide you to the perfect class for your child. Here are some other recommendations from a NYC mom of two:

1. NY Kids Club – at 18 months, my son loved their combo class of music, art and gym

NY Kids Club

2. Playtime with Sammie & Tudie – known as “the power couple of the clowning world”, Sammie & Tudie host classes/events all over the city, featuring magic, storytelling, songs, and activity play for ages 1-4 and their prices can’t be beat. Both my children adore them.

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Playtime with Sammie & Tudie

3. Yogi Beans – around 18 months, my son took “Me & My Bean Yoga” at this adorable Upper East Side studio and came home proudly demonstrating downward dog and namaste.

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Yogi Beans

4. The Art Farm in the City – for my son’s first separation program, we chose The Art Farm on the Upper East Side. He thoroughly enjoyed spending two three-hour days there a week with their warm staff, diverse curriculum, and who can turn down playing with farm animals in the city? Their classes and playgroups are excellent as well.

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The Art Farm in the City

Lauren Deneroff is the founder of Wife to Mom Consulting (www.wifetomomconsulting.com), a maternity consulting and baby planning firm in New York City. Wife to Mom Consulting offers services to expectant and new moms such as new parent coaching, registry guidance, nursery design and preparation, baby gear education, and organizational services. Lauren lives in Manhattan with her husband, Joe, and their two children, Brody, 3 & Harper, 1 and is happy to share her consulting and mommy advice on Kidz Buzz!

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Benefits of Outdoor Play for Kids

Playing outside every day is good for the body and the mind.  Being outside for playtime has many benefits for children and we listed a few of our favorites here:

  1. Children can see the community they live in.  By going outside to play, children see other people who may be the same or different from them all living in one area.  You can even pack some gloves and a trash bag and pick up trash on your way there and back.  Children feel more included when they helping pitch in.  Of course, never let your child pick up any sharp objects, even with gloves!
  2. Children are encouraged to use their imagination.  With everything made in miniature version, it is fun and healthy for children to use their imagination to create a “cake” by mixing “ingredients” with a “spoon” they found outdoors.  This is actually an early form of problem solving!
  3. Children have the opportunity to exercise.  Everyone, even children need exercise.  While we go to the gym for an hour (more like forty minutes) our kids need room to run and jump and climb and there is no better place than outdoors in your local park!
  4. Children learn social skills.  The park and playground are for everyone, which means children must learn to take turns, wait and play by certain rules.  This is something we can tell our children, but really this all takes practice.  An even better bonus?  There are new and different people every time you go, so your child may have to learn different social adjustments each and every time!
  5. Children learn to try new things.  Remember the first time you went across the monkey bars alone?  This is a great chance your child to feel accomplishment when they master something that was challenging.  Nothing builds self-esteem like real accomplishments.  Just remember, it’s important that your child feels a tad frustration to feel like he/she accomplished something!

So now with a few reasons why being outside is a must, make sure your child gets some time every day to play outside!

By Shannon Drummond, founder of The Play Champs.  The Play Champs offers outdoor classes to build child development in local parks throughout New York City.

5 Classical Pieces to Share with Your Kids

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Listening to music with your kids benefits their development and allows you to connect and communicate with them, even before spoken language is learned! As infants and toddlers, it stimulates their brains, soothes nerves, and inspires creativity. When your children get a bit older, music is particularly helpful with verbal expression, emotional expression and auditory development.

Encourage imaginative thinking by creating music-inspired art or making a storyline to follow the music. For example, in our classes, our students listen to live classical music while drawing with crayons in response to what they hear! You can support verbal and emotional expression by giving your kids a music vocabulary. Begin with simple language to describe musical terms: is the music high or low (pitch), slow or fast (tempo), loud or soft (dynamics) happy or sad (emotion)? Graduate to trying to identify particular instruments and composers.

It’s easy to see why early introduction is so important when you look at all the parts of the brain activated when listening to and playing music:

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Remember: you don’t have to be a musician to introduce classical music to your kids confidently. You just have to love the music you are sharing! Here are my picks for five fantastic must-hear pieces of music to share with your family:

click on the links below each song to listen to and learn more!

1. In the Hall of the Mountain King (Edvard Grieg)

Heavily used in film and television, this song from Norwegian composer Grieg’s Peer Gynt is familiar to lots of non-musicians. The accelerating tempo keeps you listening on the edge of your seat in suspense and is perfect for creating music-inspired art or a storyline!
Featured instruments to listen for: Bassoons, Basses, Cellos, Violins, Clarinets, Cymbals
View on YouTube | View on iTunes | About the Composer

2. Arabesque No. 1 (Claude Debussy)

Debussy’s mesmerizing composition is ideal for relaxation, daydreaming, and naptime. To me, the trickling piano notes sound like a waterfall gently flowing into a babbling stream. Ask your kids to describe the types of nature scenes, animals, and people they imagine when hearing the music.
Featured instrument to listen for: Piano
View on YouTube | View on iTunes | About the Composer

3. Flight of the Bumblebee (Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov)

This orchestral interlude from Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan is very fast and short- most performances last only about a minute and a half! A great way to use this composition is as a “clean-up” timer. See if your kids can clean up before the music ends.
Featured instruments to listen for: Violins, Flute, Clarinet, Horns
View on YouTube | View on iTunes | About the Composer

4. The Habanera (Georges Bizet)

You’ll easily recognize this aria from Bizet’s opera Carmen– it is one of the most popular and most beautiful of all time. In class, we use the setting of the opera (Seville, Spain) as inspiration and snap castanets and dance flamenco-style in response to the music. Teach your kids some basic flamenco moves- hand clapping, foot stomping, wrist twirling – and get dancing!
Featured instruments to listen for: Strings, Flutes, Horns, Bells, Triangle, Cymbal
View on YouTube | View on iTunes | About the Composer

5. Aquarium (Camille Saint-Saens)

The shimmering glissando in this movement from Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals is completely entrancing and calming. It’s one of our favorite classical pieces to play in class! Before listening, ask your kids what they might see in an aquarium. (Fish swimming, sea grass swaying, coral, shiny rocks, bubbles rising, etc.) This is perfect for naptime and creating music-inspired art.
Featured instruments to listen for: Piano, Violins, and Flute
View on YouTube | View on iTunes | About the Composer

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Carina Zimmerman is one of the co-founders of TLB Music, a children’s music studio and indoor playspace located on the Upper East Side. She is also the author of The Bird Feed NYC, TLB’s blog filled with family-friendly music to share, free printables for kids, NYC history, product recommendations, and nostalgic photo collections.

Follow TLB Music on Facebook and Twitter
Follow The Bird Feed NYC on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

 

“Music & The Brain” source