How Music Moves Us

Musical Mood (5)

With social/emotional learning at the forefront of my mind in our new era of social distancing, I was glad to see that Travis’s latest Raddish Kids crate included a lesson on how music effects our moods. (All of the recipes this month have musical themes: stay tuned!). Being able to connect words to emotions is key, now more than ever, and we liked the can-do focus on how music can change or improve your mood.

As he came to the table I asked him: “How are you feeling right now?” He answered that he was feeling tired, but also silly.

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We watched a quick explanation of how music can affect the brain and mood, which had him giggling.

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Next I played him four samples of music, choosing:

  • Classical
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll
  • Heavy Metal
  • Folk

Musical Mood (1)

For each one, he drew a simple face on the provided worksheet that showed how it made him feel. I knew he was goofing off a little, but he decided the classical made him happy, the rock ‘n’ roll made him angry, the heavy metal made him excited, and the folk made him sad. Whether or not this was all true, it was nice to give him vocabulary to think about emotions.

Musical Mood (2)

Now it was time to experiment! First we played the heavy metal, and I let him have at a piece of paper with a paintbrush and watercolors. Then we switched to the classical, to see if there was a difference. Again, it was a little harder for a kindergartner to take this activity seriously. First he just liked making big dark puddles on the paper.

Musical Mood (3)

But then I noticed during the classical he was choosing brighter colors and his brush strokes were slowing down. So perhaps the music had a subconscious effect after all!

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Older kids can explore further, perhaps making a playlist intended to make a family member feel a certain way, or creating a soundtrack to amcertain part of their day. To test this out subtly, we played some energizing songs (i.e. Can’t Stop the Feeling) for clean-up time, and it had everyone in a great mood at a time when the kids normally feel a bit grumpy.

Sticky Feet

Sticky Feet (6)

This is really an update on a game we played back in January, when Veronika was almost walking but not quite. I taped a piece of contact paper to the ground in hopes of strengthening her leg muscles and held her hand as she strained to lift her feet from the sticky surface.

Now, there is no doubt about it: she’s a walker! The purpose was more to explore all the ways she could move across the sticky surface. Once again, I taped down contact paper (make sure you give your child at least 2 feet in length to explore). When she first stepped onto it, she immediately went into a crouch so her hands could feel the sticky surprise, too.

Sticky Feet (1)

We discovered that lifting up our fingers and toes made a fantastic sound!

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She liked to step off of it and then back on again, as if testing the difference between the sticky and non-sticky surface each time.

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She also was determined to walk solo across it, although needed a hand a few times to pry her feet loose.

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You’ll notice it intrigued big brother, too!

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This game truly never gets old. The older your toddler grows, the more you can encourage him or her to dance on contact paper, run on it, or jump on it. It’s a challenge that never grows stale.