Learning In My Own Way- How Little Ones Learn During Circle Time

Ever notice that when the adults sit in a circle for an activity that’s the time the toddlers start running? It doesn’t matter if we’re reading a favorite book or singing the best song in the world, as a little person, this seems to be the best time to get up and run. But does that mean they aren’t learning?

Of course not! Young children are always learning, it just may not look like what we (the adults) expect learning to look like. For instance, while we sit in a circle in Zumbini to sing a song together, all of the adults sit side by side watching the instructor to figure out what words to repeat or what movements to do with their body.  At the same time, the kids will all be engaging in their own way.

The kids that decide they need to run at this time, they are still hearing all of the words and rhythms of our songs.

The kids that decide they want to stand and watch, they are still visually taking in all of the movements that we are doing as adults.

The kids that are licking the mirror seeming not to pay attention, their brains are still processing all of that musical information they are hearing. (They’re also processing what happens when they lick this magical wall!)

Zumbini is really focused on making sure all kids are learning in their own way throughout the class, even if it may appear that the kids “aren’t listening”. Expecting a young child to act like an adult is developmentally inappropriate. Expecting all children to sit and completely follow an instructor is developmentally inappropriate.  What is developmentally appropriate is letting children move how their body wants to move, to explore the world around them how they want to, and participate as much or as little as they would like in a group (as long as they are being safe!)

The reason caregivers are asked to sit and follow along with the instructor is that the children will come back to participate because they love you!

Kids want to be with you, they want to do what you are doing, and they want to be just like you. By letting them go explore and move in their own way, you are giving them the freedom and the space they need a to choose when to return to the circle as they are ready. When this happens, young children are much more engaged in the circle’s activities because they are ready to participate too!

Don’t worry if it seems like your kid isn’t listening or following along, keep bringing them to a Zumbini class!

    • We want each child to feel safe, loved, excited, and happy in each class.

    • We know that children learn in their own way at their own pace.

    • We know they will start singing their favorite songs in the car or start doing all of the dance moves at home (probably as you’re trying to get them to sleep!)

We know that you and your little one will love learning in Zumbini and love all of the memories you create together!

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