A recent program has emerged in White House that focuses on nourishing children “through music, movement and imaginative play” — all while creating an avenue for parents and young kids to join in fellowship.
“Tunes & Tots,” a music and movement class, began in November with classes currently being held on Mondays at 10 a.m. at “The Nest,” inside 672 Brew at 575 N. Sage Rd.
A Saturday class is also expected to start in January. Cost is $50 monthly.
The class, which encourages the building of social development and motor and language skills, is a mixed-age group of youngsters between the ages of six months and three years old, along with a parent.
According to Angel Davenport, who operates Tunes & Tots, and leads each class herself, parent participation is key to making the class successful.
It not only creates an avenue for parent and child to connect through the activities, but also with others in class.
“Obviously with the class, the goal is for parent and baby to bond,” said Davenport. “But also it’s for the young babies and children to visually observe the movement of the older kids. And on the flip side, the older kids get to be the leader or role model.”
While the class focuses on the children, it’s also important, Davenport said, for parents to feel part of a community with others who have young children — noting the isolation stay-at-home parents can feel — even more so as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
That’s another big aspect and bonus of the class, she explained, and, as it is, individuals from the group have met monthly outside of class just to fellowship.
“The whole class is really tailored toward stay-at-home parents,” said Davenport about the Monday class. “It doesn’t have to be a mom; could be a dad too.”
The class usually opens with an “ice-breaker” question or activity to help everyone relax and get to know one another.
For instance, the “reindeer hokey pokey” and a discussion on what each parent enjoys as a holiday movie and treats has been on the class agenda this month.
During the 45-minute class, toddlers participate in some form of educational development — like listening and then mimicking the sounds of heavy rain falling or a cow mooing. All this helps develop their listening and imitating skills, Davenport explained.
“The little babies — that's the reason the parents participate — to expose the child to it,” Davenport said.
The focal part of Tunes & Tots is, of course, related to music and rhythmic pattern activities.
Little ones, for example, participate with the use of egg shakers, small tambourines, or wrist jingle bells — moving them at varying speeds depending on the music played or words spoken.
This is training them to recognize and move with the beat.
“He loves it; it’s fun,” said Jestina Jordan, who comes with her two-year-old son, Rowan. “Moms get to socialize with other moms with kids the same age. (The kids) are learning different kinds of music and dancing, and it works on memory too.”
The class also does physical movements or expressions to the words of poems or to the lyrics of songs, some even a capella.
Whether it’s lifting their hands above their heads, with fingers touching, to form what would resemble a tree or even using props — like a scarf to imitate the wind blowing, it’s all done to develop motor skills, Davenport said.
The goal, she said, is to start early in developing the skills Tunes & Tots focuses on, which can build confidence.
Building confidence early on, she said, could even be helpful to those choosing to study dance or music later, or just to simply feel comfortable in day-to-day situations where music and rhythmic movements are applied.
For more information about Tunes & Tots and enrollment availability go to https://www.facebook.com/tunes.totsor call (615) 681-7396.