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Dance And The Early Years Learning Framework

The early Years Learning Framework and Dance

Section 1: Benefits of Dance for Preschoolers. Section 2: Dance And The Early Years Learning Framework.

1: Benefits of Dance for Preschoolers

Dance offers numerous benefits for preschool children, supporting their holistic development across physical, cognitive, emotional, and social domains. Here’s how dance benefits preschoolers:

  1. Physical Development: Dance promotes gross motor skills development – through engaging in various movements such as jumping, hopping, skipping, and stretching. These movements help strengthen muscles, improve coordination, balance, and flexibility, and enhance overall physical fitness.
  2. Expressive Outlet: Dance provides preschoolers with a creative outlet for self-expression. Through movement, children can express their emotions, thoughts, and experiences in a non-verbal way, fostering creativity, imagination, and self-confidence.
  3. Cognitive Development: Dance engages cognitive processes such as memory, sequencing, pattern recognition, and spatial awareness. Learning dance routines or choreography involves remembering sequences of movements. Additionally, following directions, and coordinating movements with music stimulates cognitive development and problem-solving skills.
  4. Social Interaction: Dance encourages social interaction and cooperation among preschoolers as they dance together in groups or pairs. Participating in dance activities fosters communication, teamwork, and collaboration, helping children develop important social skills such as turn-taking, sharing, and respecting others’ personal space.
  5. Cultural Appreciation: Dance exposes preschoolers to different cultures, traditions, and forms of expression from around the world. Through multicultural dance experiences, children learn to appreciate diversity, develop empathy and respect for others’ perspectives, and gain a broader understanding of the world around them.
  6. Emotional Regulation: Dance can serve as a tool for emotional regulation, helping preschoolers manage and express their emotions in a positive and constructive manner. Engaging in rhythmic movements and dance activities can promote relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, and enhance mood and emotional well-being.
  7. Confidence Building: Participating in dance activities boosts preschoolers’ self-esteem and confidence. As children master new dance steps, learn routines, and perform for others, they gain a sense of accomplishment and pride in their abilities, building confidence in themselves and their skills.
  8. Sensory Integration: Dance engages multiple senses, including sight, sound, and touch, as children move their bodies in response to music and rhythm. This sensory-rich experience supports sensory integration and processing, helping children regulate sensory input and develop body awareness.
  9. Preparation for Learning: Dance lays the foundation for future learning by enhancing preschoolers’ attention, focus, and readiness to learn. Engaging in rhythmic movements and structured activities promotes concentration and cognitive engagement, helping children develop essential skills for academic success.

Overall, dance offers a fun, engaging, and enriching experience for preschoolers. And as we support their physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development we also while foster creativity, and self-expression. Additionally, they develop a love of movement and music.

2: Dance And The Early Years Learning Framework

Dance seamlessly integrates with the principles, practices, and learning outcomes outlined in the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). Teaching group dance offers a holistic approach to supporting preschoolers’ development and learning. Here’s how dance aligns with the EYLF:

  1. Belonging, Being, and Becoming: Dance promotes a sense of belonging by providing opportunities for preschoolers to engage in group activities. They collaborate with peers, and express themselves through movement. Through dance, children develop a sense of being as they explore their bodies and movements. They become confident and involved learners as they participate in creative expression.
  2. Principles of Respectful Relationships: Dance activities foster respectful relationships between children and educators. Group dance encourages cooperation, communication, and empathy. Children learn to take turns, share space, and respect each other’s movements. Group dance promotes positive social interactions and a sense of community.
  3. Play-Based Learning: Dance is inherently playful and encourages children to explore, experiment, and create through movement. By engaging in dance activities, preschoolers develop their imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Additionally, they also develop their physical, cognitive, and social development through active play.
  4. Learning Outcomes: Dance aligns with several of the learning outcomes outlined in the EYLF, including:
    • Children have a strong sense of identity as they explore and express themselves through movement and dance.
    • Children are connected with and contribute to their world – learning about different cultures, traditions, and forms of expression through dance.
    • Children have a strong sense of well-being – they engage in physical activity, express their emotions, and develop confidence and self-esteem through dance.
    • Children are confident and involved learners as they participate in dance activities, follow instructions, and explore their creativity and imagination.
    • Children are effective communicators as they use movement and gesture to express themselves and engage in non-verbal communication with others.
  5. Physical Development: Dance supports children’s physical development by promoting gross motor skills, coordination, balance, and flexibility. Through dance activities, children develop body awareness, control, and strength, laying the foundation for a healthy and active lifestyle.
  6. Cultural Competence: Dance provides opportunities for children to explore different cultural traditions, music, and forms of expression from around the world. By learning about and participating in diverse dance styles, children develop an appreciation for cultural diversity and gain insights into the experiences and perspectives of others.

In summary, dance is a valuable tool for integrating the principles and practices of the Early Years Learning Framework. Dance supports children’s holistic development. Accordingly, promoting physical, cognitive, emotional, and social skills, while also fostering creativity, self-expression, and cultural competence.

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