In our Kindermusik Foundations classes we have been doing a lot of stop & go games, songs, and dances this month. But babies are not the only little ones who benefit from stop & go – children of all ages enjoy and reap amazing developmental benefits from playing stop & go!
Why is stop & go play so important?
- Inhibitory control – Experiencing stopping & starting is the beginning of the development of inhibitory control. This critical skill is what will make your little one freeze his or her feet in a parking lot someday when you call out “stop!”
- Pattern Recognition – Stopping and starting is a simple pattern. Patterns exist everywhere in the world, and your child’s early recognition and anticipation of simple patterns through stop & go lays the foundations for early math skills, language & communication skills, problem solving, critical thinking, and so much more!
- Anticipation – As your little one begins to notice the pattern of stopping and starting again, he or she will anticipate what comes next. Anticipation is important for critical thinking, sequencing, and carrying on conversation.
Here are some fun ways to enjoy stop & go at home with your child:
- Freeze dance! Dance around with Baby, and freeze dramatically when you or a family member pauses the music. Does Baby start to smile or giggle in anticipation of moving again?
- Pad a laundry basket with a blanket or towel and pull or push your little one in it for a train ride. Sing a favorite train or transportation-themed song, and stop the ride after each verse. Don’t be surprised if your child starts to wiggle and giggle to encourage you to go again!
- Bounce your little one on your knee to a favorite song or rhyme. Pause after lifting him or her high on your knees to build up anticipation for the bounce back down.