Based in San Francisco, is an early childhood education blog by Tiva Lee Samaru. HER posts explore; through videos and other resources - original early childhood education curricula and ideas for enrichment classes, as well as, tips and tricks for classroom management and general childcare.

Get over it

Get over it

Movement is one of those tricky things for children, complex movement especially so.

There are certain things they can do at a very young age and other things that are learned. In their early stages as a living being, they use movement as a means of communication. To tell their caretakers something, such as, "I'm hungry," "I'm sleepy," "I want to sit up" or "I hit myself in the face with this silly rattle". All these things they want to say and can't say.

As they get older they become more conscious of their ability to learn new ways of moving. They move from tummy time to sitting up to crawling, walking and jumping to name a few. Veering into another direction they then begin to start applying this new found range of motion to daily life.  Scooting across the room to get their bottle of milk, literally doing the splits while getting their diaper changed, stretching their arms upward to assist with a change of clothing, running down the sidewalk instead of walking, climbing up the ladder to get to the slide at the playground, moving out of the way to avoid obstacles such as stepping over rain puddles to avoid getting their feet wet. On the other hand, they also do the opposite like jumping directly into the water or a rain puddle just out of curiosity and end up with unexpected consequences.

Whatever their instinct in terms of movement may be or their reasoning behind their movement choice, it is consequential and so is dance.

With this as our last rain themed dance video, we wanted to take it outside and film a fun across the floor activity for which we needed more space as it involves getting over a rain puddle. Initially, we planned on demonstrating this activity with the rain puddles Tiva made, but since it actually rained that day we filmed, we figured it wouldn't hurt to take advantage of the opportunity to use real rain puddles.

This dance activity is a fun way to introduce different styles of leaps for an across the floor activity at the end of a movement class. The first one is a classic, straight- legged jete. Next is an introduction to a jete developpe where you can focus on bending the legs to lift them before straightening them. Last is just a fun jump! The challenge for many is taking off of one leg, yet landing on both at the same time. The puddles add a very real visual of what to jump over and you can and should encourage your students to jump both high and far over the puddle.

How did it go?

Great! It went really well. Granted line control was a little bit of a challenge. Nonetheless, our students excelled at this one and tried their hardest to actually execute the three different leaps. Our younger students also pressed on and tried their hardest to execute all that was being asked of them. Of course, an activity like this will require consecutive repetition in order for all of your students to perfect it in their own way, but on our end, with a couple weeks of testing under its belt, this activity has proven to be fun, easy to learn yet challenging, educational and kinetic.

One suggestion we have in order to make this activity flow smoothly is to demonstrate the three movements before beginning the across the floor segment. Also, try to figure out your line preference i.e if you want your students to stand in a line and wait their turn or go all at once etc. This should ensure some form of proper order to the activity and at which time each student gets their turn. 

Take a look!

If you are looking for a leap based across the floor activity, then feel free to watch our video. You will see and learn the three different movements used in this activity and will start formulating your own ideas as to how to incorporate these movements into your next dance class.

Leap, Leap, Leap,

Tiva & Randa

Hand and finger yoga

Hand and finger yoga

Raindrop sack

Raindrop sack