“My baby flies over the ocean…”

24 Oct

The past couple of weeks, I’ve seen a lot of flying babies in my classes. This is mostly because I took great liberties with “My Bonnie” and led it in class as a dance-around-the-room song, including the verse, “My Bonnie flies over the ocean, my Bonnies flies over the sea…” Without fail, the grown-ups with babies held them under their bellies and zoomed those little ones around the room like private jets. While babies love this flying motion in general, they especially respond to being “flown” towards another person, another baby/child, or towards a mirror. So, when we sang, “Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my Bonnie to me, to me,” some of us swung, some of us ran, but the babies all flew to the middle of the room — right towards other adults, toddlers or babies. The smiles and squeals have been priceless.

Developmentally, babies are working on being comfortable separating from their important grown-ups, and this in-and-out flying supports that development. Moving rhythmically close and then far, close and then far, etc. allows the baby to predict the coming and going (precisely because the movement is rhythmic). Prediction gives the baby a sense of having more control, of knowing what to expect. That predicting and knowing can help ease the process of separation, even just a little. So, our flying game in class is supporting not only their music development but also their brain/social development.

TRY THIS AT HOME

Turn your baby (or toddler, or older child, if you’ve got the strength!) into an airplane and fly them here and there while you sing or dance to music. To amplify the effect, zoom your child in-and-out towards another adult, towards a sibling, or towards the mirror. If nothing else, your biceps will be ready to separate from the flying game by the time you’re done!

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One Response to ““My baby flies over the ocean…””

  1. sarah orfe October 24, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    Going to have to print this out to share with our families!

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