Join a Local Music & Movement Class

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Children are drawn to music right from the start, which is why it’s literally never too early to start a music class. Perhaps that’s why my favorite program, Music Together, (available across the country), bills itself as appropriate for age birth to 5 years.

Veronika and I joined when the winter session began in January, and admittedly she was the youngest in the class. Now at three months, I already see a difference. She’s alert for the entire 45 minutes, so clued in to the teacher’s movements and sounds, and fascinated by the visual of the instruments and the bigger kids (most of them 1 to 2 years old).

My first tip for a baby this young at a music class is to bring a blanket; you’ll want to lay him or her down on the floor at times. Here’s Veronika, ready for class to begin!

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Just as a sample, today’s session included movement and rhythm play through the form of a bouncy ride on mommy’s lap…

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Getting to shake bells…

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And learning to tap or rub rhythm sticks.

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Don’t worry if instruments end up right in the mouth! Babies learn so much about the world this way, and any reputable class for children will have a designated “wet bin” for the germ-y toys.

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In sum, if you haven’t already taken your child out for music play, it’s a great time to start. Check your local library for offerings at little or no cost!

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Wall Mural

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I didn’t decorate the nursery with either of my children, which had more to do with my disinterest in interior design than anything else. And since we rent an apartment, I always felt I couldn’t do too much to walls or windows.

But it seemed a shame to let the chance pass me completely by, and I loved this cute idea to project an image on just a small portion of a wall, trace with pencil, and then fill in with paint.

The activity book I found this in is so old that it recommended an overhead projector for the task. (!) Do they even make those anymore? Failing to have a projector, I was at a loss for how to trace an image onto the wall until shown a neat technique, no artistic skills required:

Print out the image you want (we went with a farm animal theme) and make a heavy layer of pencil on the opposite side of the paper.

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Now hold the paper up to the wall, and trace all lines with pencil – the graphite will transfer through!

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Soon we had four little farm animals to color in.

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I chose a spot on the wall that was fairly low, so it will be at eye level with Veronika once she starts to crawl or toddle about.

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I used acrylic paint, and decided that it looked neater with the outlines of the animals painted, but not filled completely in.

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Little blue sheep was too adorable!

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Veronika was my eager audience, her eyes wide as I worked!

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And ha, then there was the problem of explaining to my four year old why mom was suddenly allowed to paint on the wall. So I let him make a design of his choice in a tiny portion of the corner. Behold his red bird:

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I can’t wait for Veronika to enjoy this beautiful little portion of her room!

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