Each toddler classroom includes a “FitKids” session, which is held in the ballet room. This is when the youngsters are released from their energy and bodies are exercised through various activities directed by coach Amy. Rolling balls, pretending to be animals, and obstacle courses are just a few of the activities available.
The activities are designed to increase the toddler’s gross motor skills. The toddlers are also given opportunities to use their fine motor skills during “FitKids”. For example, they might be asked to put balls in a bucket or use sticks to hit targets.
“FitKids” is not only a time for the toddlers to develop their physical skills, but it is also a time for them to socialize with other toddlers. They learn how to take turns, share materials, and cooperate with others.
The purpose of this paper is to observe and document the behaviors of one toddler during “FitKids”. The focus will be on the toddler’s physical development, socialization, and communication.
It became apparent when watching a 20-month-old girl that she was able to move her body to the music playing and an activity focused on being different animals. She flapped her arms up and down, for example, to indicate that she was a bird. When the music got faster, she began to “fly” faster as well. Her participation in the group with other youngsters was one of her many strengths.
While she was hopping like a bunny, she would stop and look at the other children to see if they were doing the same thing. When one child was not participating, she would go over to them and try to encourage them to join in. A limitation that was seen was that she only wanted to participate when other children were involved as well. If there were no other children around, she would not engage in the activity. She also tended to get frustrated easily when she could not do something correctly. For example, when asked to put a block on top of another block, she got frustrated and threw the blocks down.
Some research suggests that toddlers learn best through play (Bergen, 2018). This is because play allows them to explore their environment and figure out how things work. Additionally, research has shown that toddlers learn best through social interaction with other children (Treasure, 2011). This is because they are able to learn new skills by copying others and receiving feedback.
Thus, based on the observations made, it seems that the toddler is able to learn best when she is playing with other children. She is able to explore her environment and figure out how things work. Additionally, she is able to learn new skills by copying others and receiving feedback. However, she may get frustrated easily when she cannot do something correctly. Therefore, it is important to provide support and encouragement in order for her to keep trying.
While the music was playing, coach Amy would tell them what to do and then demonstrate how to perform it. Because she observed how to execute the activities, she was able to pretend with the activity by using creative movement. The fact that she’d do an action only twice before stopping and watching the teacher and other toddlers for the remainder of that animal’s music was a significant need.
She would often look back at me and smile as if to say, “See I’m doing it.” When the music would stop, so would her movement. She would then sit on the floor until the next song began. If any of the other toddlers came close to her personal space, she would scoot away from them or get up and walk to another area. When one of the other students did something that she thought was interesting, such as flipping over during Superman, she would stop what she was doing and watch them until they stopped or moved to a different activity.
One thing that was consistent throughout all of the activities is that Lily never participated in any type of pretend play with the other students. Even when given the opportunity to pretend to feed her baby doll, she would instead walk around holding the doll close to her and rocking it back and forth. When the other students were playing with the cars, Lily would bring a chair over and sit next to them, but she never attempted to play with the cars herself.
During free play, Lily mostly stayed by herself or close to me. She didn’t seem interested in interacting with any of the other students. The only time she did interact with someone was when one of the students accidently hit her in the head with a plastic ring. She started crying and I had to comfort her. Other than that, she spent most of her time exploring the classroom and playing by herself.
Toddlers’ creative movement can only be observed in the classroom when they are engaged and asked to participate. Because there are so many toddlers at the ballet school, it might be tough for all of them to receive feedback on their activities and behaviors. It was also clear that more time was required in order for every toddler to take part rather than being left out. Some toddlers were nervous since they were unused to the setting, thus they needed further encouragement to join in with the class.
It was also interesting to see that some of the toddlers were able to show their creativity through their movements, while others were still trying to figure out what they were supposed to do. For example, one toddler was spinning around in circles while another was just standing in the middle of the room. It seemed like the former was more comfortable with the situation and knew what she was doing, while the latter was still trying to understand what was going on.
In general, it was a good experience observing the toddlers in the ballet studio. It was evident that they were all at different levels of development, but they were all able to show some level of creativity through their movements. With more time and exposure, it is likely that all the toddlers will be able to show even more creative movements.
Because of the toddlers’ frequent “fitkids,” they are exposed to a wide range of sports and activities that encourage movement and dancing. In order to aid development in the arts, it is necessary to provide suggestions and follow them. Each of these objectives corresponds with the suggestion.
Recommendation: It is recommended that the arts be brought into the classroom on a regular basis to help facilitate development within this area for these particular toddlers.
Objective: To provide opportunities for the toddlers to experience the arts on a regular basis in order to promote development within this domain.