Tag Archives: Child Development

Creative Movement is essential at all Child Development Stages

Creative movement and dance are interchangeable terms and both refer to the same practice of using movement, music, time, and space in a creative manner. At Boston Mobile Dance Studio, we often talk about moving creatively and how dance is beneficial for everyone and anyone. It is especially children that benefit from the practice, as movement is the root form of self-expression and children are born with it. Which is what makes creative movement so important in all phases of child development.

Research and science have shown us how creative movement is beneficial in all areas of development. We now know for sure that dance helps youth learn and develop a number of skills which are crucial for healthy child development.

Besides the experience I have in the field of teaching creative movement to children, I thought I’d dig a bit further to explain how beneficial and even inevitable creative movement is for youth.

Creative Movement Youth Roslindale

Along with dance, comes music.

The human brain is wired to respond to sound and music in a number of ways. In fact, science shows that music ticks off more parts of the brain than any other function or activity. Depending on the tones, vibrations, and frequencies, music can induce positive and negative emotions. So music also plays a very important role in child development.

Dance has been misunderstood for centuries, and often looked at as a “just for fun” activity with no real educational purpose. I feel it is necessary to explain that it’s on the contrary, in the most simple yet detailed way. Hopefully, parents will then understand that dance for youth is not just about “having fun” (although the fun part is the best), but it is crucial in all development stages.

“…creative movement is important for a child’s social, emotional, physical, motor, and intellectual development…”

I’m going to take you through the ages and stages of child development, and show you where creative movement and dance comes in and which role it plays.

Infants 0 – 2

During infancy, a baby understands the world through sense and action. A baby starts to develop basic skills such as moving their body parts, responding to emotional or physical stimulation, and discovering the space around them. Curiosity and the need for affection are at their peak here. Infants often imitate what they see, this is their way of discovering the world and learning.

Infants
Discovering the world

At this stage, creative movement comes in as a way of exploring sounds, movements, and emotions. Example: How does a cow moo? How does a bunny jump? Happy face/sad face etc. When it comes to music, infants enjoy smoother and higher tones.

Toddlers 2 – 5

Toddlers have already taken their first steps and have started to independently explore the world. At this stage, toddlers discover freedom and independence. Here, we may see negative emotions starting to occur; resistant and negative reactions, and tantrums. They start to understand the world through mental images and language. They learn to speak and their intellect comes into play.

Toddlers
How it all works…

During this stage, creative movement comes in as a way of:

Tweens 6 – 12

At this age, parents already know their child’s individuality. This is why parents should focus more on empowering and encouraging their children’s innate originality, rather than trying to make them go in the direction they believe is best for them.

During this period, parents often start to question their prior parenting tactics as children start to show different and opposing opinions due to their expanded surroundings and relationships. Different situations within their relationships with others may affect children in ways parents didn’t realize before. A child’s reaction, such as stress, anger, rebellion, or reduced self-esteem, will depend not only on their own personality but also on a parent’s parenting style.

As parents, it is our duty to teach our children about the different results and consequences of individual choices. Children need to be supported in being themselves rather than directed in being perfect and without failure. I’m a firm believer that we can teach this to kids from the youngest ages. Rather than threatening or punishing, I prefer to explain that they always have a choice, but depending on the choice, certain consequences will occur.

Tweens
I can… I can’t

But let’s consider where creative movement and dance comes in at this stage.

At this point, children will start to display different reactions or personality traits that were not so obvious before. For example, an introvert child will show more difficulty with blending in or lower self-confidence. Dance comes in as a great way to help these kids overcome obstacles that this may be causing. Respectively, children who take regular dance classes demonstrate higher self-confidence and self-esteem.

Obesity problems also may manifest, and dance, especially hip-hop dance for youth are a great way to overcome this. Hip-hop dance is great for kids because it consists of vigorous and energetic movements which are the equal to the advised amount of daily physical activity for children.

As this is a time of primary schooling, some children may demonstrate lower focus and concentration levels. Dance is a great way to help children learn to be more concentrated because during a dance class they will learn dance steps and choreography followed by rhythm and music, which is a great way to help them learn to stay focused.

Teens 12 – 18

Adolescence is by far the most challenging stage for youth and parents alike. It is usually followed by moodiness, passive-aggressive behavior, changes in self-confidence, and self-consciousness. Teens often experience pressure caused by school, peers and the huge desire of independence. These things can cause them to experience stress and mood changes.

During this time, teens discover and hone their talents and skills. So proper support and encouragement are crucial at this point.

Teens
Discovering me!

Research shows that positive encouragement through adequate extracurricular activities is one of the best ways to ease this challenging period. This is where creative movement comes in. Dance is often an activity taken by adults for de-stressing and socializing. Dance provides emotional and stress release, this is crucial for youth during this period.Hip-Hop Dance Teens

During dance classes and dance events, adolescents expand their social circles. A dance class is a great environment for helping youth overcome their fears, find new friendships, find their own authenticity and talents.

dance for youth

The Top 20 Schools in Greater Boston, MA

The Top 20 Schools in Greater Boston, MA

Choosing the best school for your child in Boston may be time-consuming. With so many different types of schools and visions; public, charter, magnet, pilot, private, and with the reform that the Boston school system has faced, it can get overwhelming.

That’s why we thought we’d try and make this task easier for you by researching the best schools in Boston sharing the list and some useful info with you.

As parents, we always want the best possible solutions for our children. We want them to have a good education, to take part in useful activities, excel in their talents and so on.

But, the most important thing that we need to keep in mind (which is sometimes easy to forget), is that we’re the ones that need to invest time and attention to bringing up our children. The best-rated school doesn’t necessarily have to be the right school for your child.

It’s crucial to keep in mind the needs, character and tendencies of your child when choosing the right school for them.

This is why we’ve compiled a list of schools which is based on ratings, our own experiences and on experiences of many other parents like you. Keep in mind that the list is not ordered from best to least best, but randomly. The choice of school for your child is up to you.

Take a look at our descriptive list of The Top 20 Best Schools in Boston, Ma

We hope it will serve you as a helpful guide to help you decide which school you should choose for your child.

We’ve even gone a step further to make your life easier. Get the printable version of this guide with additional info and spaces to take important notes.

  1. Eliot Elementary School

Type of school: Public and Charter Schools

Location: Boston

Grades: K-8

Admission: Free

Special programs: After School Programs – “Champions Extended Learning” and “Global Premier Soccer”.

Core Values: Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Safe, Be Kind, and Be Inclusive.

  1. Edward Brooke Charter Schools

Type of school: Charter Schools

Location: Boston, East Boston, Roslindale, Mattapan

Grades: High School

Admission: Free

Special programs: Computer Science

Core Values: Focus, Integrity, Respect, Self-determination, Teamwork

  1. Excel Academy Charter School

Type of school: Charter

Location: East Boston, Chelsea,

Grades: Middle and High School

Admission: Free, Lottery

Special programs: Graduate Services & Post Secondary Support, Growth Capital

Mission/Core Values: “Excel Academy’s mission is to prepare students to succeed in high school and college, apply their learning to solve relevant problems and engage productively in their communities.”

  1. Boston Latin School

Type of school: Public School

Location: Boston

Grades: 7 – 12

Admission: Free, ISEE test

Special programs: Latin, Athletics, Clough Center for Global Understanding, Deitch Leadership Institute, McCarthy Institute for Transition and Support, College Counseling, The Wolk Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Mission/Core Values: “Boston Latin School seeks to ground its students in a contemporary classical education as preparation for successful college studies, responsible and engaged citizenship, and a rewarding life.”

  1. Boston Collegiate Charter School

Type of school: Charter

Location: Boston

Grades: All grades

Admission: Free, Lottery

Special programs: Special Education and English Language Learners, Homework Club, Afterschool Tutoring, Saturday Learning Center, Afterschool Program, Athletics.

Core Values: “We want to show kids what school and their future can be and not what it has to be. This is the ethos of our school.”

  1. Hale Elementary School

Type of school: Public

Location: Roxbury

Grades: Elementary

Admission: Free

Special programs: Computer Lab, ITEAMS Astronomy-Technology Project, MATH, MUSIC

Core Values: “We START STRONG, STAY STRONG. We are NATHAN HALE STRONG!”

  1. Match Charter Public School

Type of school: Charter

Location: Boston, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain

Grades: All

Admission: Free, Lottery

Special programs: Match More Learning and Summer Camps

Core Values/Mission: “The mission of Match More is to ensure every student in our preK–12 school has access to high-quality summer experiences that drive their learning and development — in the great outdoors, service, sports, academics, the arts, and beyond.”

  1. Up Academy Charter School Of Boston

Type of school: Charter

Location: Lawrence, Boston, Dorchester

Grades: 6-8

Admission: Free, Lottery

Special programs: Up Education Network, Restart

Core Values/Mission: “We incorporate innovations in the areas of instructional practice, time, resources, and technology from the highest-performing district and charter schools into our restart schools, creating a new, high-quality, public school model where our schools remain a part of our respective districts.”

  1. Meadowbrook School

Type of school: Private

Location: Weston

Grades: Lower and Middle School

Admission: Click here for tuition fees

Special programs: Arts, Athletics, Innovation & Technology, Multiculturalism, Student Support Services, Community Service, After School, Lunch Program, Leadership, Vacation Programs, Summer Programs.

Core Values: to know, love, and challenge every child.

  1. Harrington Elementary School

Type of school: Public

Location: Lexington

Grades: Elementary

Admission: Free

Special programs: Community services, Special Education, After School Care and Activities, Responsive Classroom, PTA, Big Backyard, Open Circle

Core Values: Academic Excellence for All Children, Respectful and Caring Relationships, A Culture of Reflection, Conversation, Collaboration and Commitment to Continuous Improvement.

  1. Lexington Montessori School

Type of school: Private

Location: Lexington

Grades: Toddlers through grade 8

Admission: Click here for tuition fees

Special programs: GROWING UP LMS, TODDLER, CHILDREN’S HOUSE, LOWER ELEMENTARY, UPPER ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE SCHOOL, ART AND MUSIC, LIBRARY, PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND ATHLETICS, SPANISH, BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM, SUMMER RECESS.

Core Values/Mission: “Our program provides a creative and adaptive environment that responds to the needs of the children. We seek to balance academic and social development to foster responsibility and cooperation within a supportive learning community.”

  1. Adams Montessori School

Type of school: Private

Location: Quincy

Grades: Toddler, Pre-School, Kindergarten, and Elementary Through Grade 6

Admission: Click here for tuition fees

Special programs: Children’s House prepared environment as defined by the Montessori program, Supplemental Care, Enrichment, Summer Program.

Core Values/Mission: “Adams Montessori School is a diverse community of children, their families, and staff who are passionate about learning and discovery. Our mission is to provide a stimulating Montessori environment that inspires a lifelong love of learning and individual growth.”

  1. Young Achievers Math and Science School

Type of school: Pilot School

Location: Mattapan

Grades: Kindergarten through eighth grade

Admission: Free, Lottery

Special programs: Science and Math

Core Values/Mission: “We are participants of the Experiential Education Demonstration Project, which provides resources to build environmental experiential education curricula at each grade level. These multi-disciplinary study units encompass field trips, visits from experts and hands-on learning and make use of local environmental resources.”

  1. Beginnings School

Type of school: Private

Location: Weston

Grades: Kindergarten

Admission: Through Admission Application

Special programs: ECSEL Method, Lower School, Upper School, After School, Summer Exploration, Specialized Needs.

Core Values/Mission: “Our ECSEL method’s focus on the emotional foundations of learning is based on best practices and principles in early childhood education, child development, and research. We continually incorporate the latest research and parent feedback into a child’s day-to-day experience.”

  1. Walnut Park Montessori School

Type of school: Private

Location: Newton

Grades: 18 months to 6 years

Admission: Click here for tuition fees

Special programs: Pre-primary/Toddler, Multi-aged learning communities, Montessori materials, Individual instruction, Educating for peace, Kids’ Corner, After school activities, Summer fun.

Core Values/Mission: “The Mission of Walnut Park Montessori School, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston, is to provide a Montessori education in a child-centered/family-sensitive community. We promote a love of God, respect for each individual and an appreciation of diversity in a peaceful environment for a peaceful world.”

  1. Jackson School

Type of school: Private

Location: Newton

Grades: K-6

Admission: Click here for tuition fees

Special programs: Multi-aged learning communities, Montessori materials, Individual instruction, Educating for peace, Kids’ Corner, After school activities, Summer fun.

Core Values/Mission: “In an educational environment which instills mutual respect, we strive to meet the learning differences of children in order that each child may experience continuous success. We are committed to providing for the spiritual, intellectual, physical and social needs of the total school community. In all of our endeavors, we reinforce the Gospel mandate, “that all may be one”; and foster unity and reconciliation of people with God, with one another and with all of God’s creation.”

  1. German International School

Type of school: Private

Location: Boston

Grades: Ages 3 to grade 12

Admission: Click here for tuition fees

Special programs: Bilingual School, Preschool, and Kindergarten, Elementary School, Middle School, Upper School, International Student Program, After School Programs and Camp.

Core Values/Mission: “A student who completes our academic program achieves: native-level proficiency in German and English, an advanced math and science education, a Massachusetts High School Diploma, a German International Abitur.”

  1. Brooks School

Type of school: Private

Location: North Andover

Grades: High School

Admission: Testing, Click here for tuition fees

Special programs: Arts, Summer Programs, Winter Term, Athletics, Chapel, Campaign for Brooks, Exchanges, Summer reading, Still Waters School Magazine, Afternoon Programs.

Core Values/Mission: “Within an environment of academic excellence, Brooks strives to promote and focus intellectual growth and curiosity. The school encourages students to develop analytic and creative capacities; to read critically; to think, speak, and write with cogency and precision; to broaden aesthetic sensibility; to make effective use of technology in the learning process, and to be aware of the larger world beyond the school community.”

  1. Atrium School

Type of school: Private

Location: Watertown

Grades: Pre-K to Middle School Grades 6 to 8

Admission: Click here for Admission Instructions

Special programs: Studio Art, Music, Performing Arts, Spanish, Physical Education, After School Programs.

Core Values/Mission: “Atrium assumes an ongoing responsibility to act as part of a larger community. In our recruitment practices for both families and faculty, we strive to create a community whose membership reflects the diversity inherent in the greater Boston area, as well as in the world. In our curriculum, such topics as race, ethnicity, family structure, gender, religion, physical attributes, sexual orientation, and economic differences are introduced and studied in ways that are developmentally appropriate. In our assemblies, special events, guest lectures, and extra-curricular activities, we work to further our commitment to diversity.”

  1. Stanley School

Type of school: Public

Location: Swampscott

Grades: Elementary

Admission: Free

Special programs: Extended day program, PTO, The Literacy Lounge.

We hope this list of the top 20 schools in Boston has been helpful with the initial information you will need to get a better idea of the right school for your child.

Share your thoughts with us. If you think we’ve missed a good school that deserves mentioning, feel free to post in the comments below and let other parents know too.

Get the printable version of this guide with additional info and spaces to take important notes.

dance for youth