I have to say that one of my favourite things about working with young children and their families, is when a funny story is shared with me. I love all the funny stories parents are kind enough to take the time to share, but the ones that involve transfer of learning have a meaning for me on a different level. As much as I laugh just as hard at these stories, they resonate on a professional and a curriculum development level.
Transfer of Learning is taking what we learn in one context and then applying it to another. Take the simple action of clapping, for example. Do you remember how you first learned this skill? Not necessarily, however it was learned at some point and every time you use it you are transferring that learning into a variety of situations.
From a children’s physical development standpoint, clapping can boost interlimb coordination and cognitive skills by engaging both sides of the brain. From a musical perspective, it helps identify rhythm and order. Clapping can also be used as a form of communication. With all of that in mind, in my INFANT & TODDLER classes, ‘clapping’ is presented as a way to communicate a celebration of an activity or accomplishment.
My heart truly smiled this week when one of my SPROUTS participant’s mom shared a funny story involving a transfer of learning. In classes we have been focusing on body awareness & co-ordination – specifically involving the hands. High fives, putting on gloves, hand stamps and catchy clap-along songs. Thirteen month old, Tommy, quietly participates through intense observation every week. In class, he appears
to learn so much visually. At home, Mom says that Tommy LOVES to climb things, lots of things, everything. She shared that he is not only climbing over and on top of many household items such as couches and baby gates, but this week – he climbed a picnic cooler in the kitchen. Upon the success of his cooler-climb, he exclaimed, “clap clap!” and began the action of clapping in order to celebrate his accomplishment!
Way to go, Tommy!
Here are some fun clapping songs for young children:
FIVE LITTLE PUMPKINS – Raffi
CLAP FOR LOVE – Little Miss Ann
THE ADAMS FAMILY – miscellaneous artists