So what do you think of when you think of teamwork?
Do you immediately visualize a group of men running around a football field? Or do you think of the Paw Patrol team?
Either way, I imagine the 'team' you are imagining is not full of small, independently minded toddlers and preschoolers with limited impulse control? Well, I think you're wrong. I think the children and adults in Jellybeans Music classes are a team and work together as a team every single week. Not sure? Think about how your class works together when the lycra or parachute or scrunchy band comes out. Think about how your class works together to tidy away the instruments. We are very much a team
So why does working together at this very early age matter? The simple answer is it does matter because when your child goes to either preschool or reception they will be working in a group environment and they will need to be able to manage their own emotions when they are thwarted by other children and as it is a key aim of Jellybeans Music programmes to support your child's emotional and social development as well as their cognitive, creative and physical, I think it is very important that we allow our children to explore working cooperatively in a safe, secure, non judgemental environment
So how do we do this. We start laying the foundations as soon as they arrive in baby beans. We sing 'hello' to every baby in turn not just so that us adults can learn the babies names and smile as the baby lights up when they hear their name. If you watch carefully, the babies very quickly realise that focus is moving around the room and they begin to watch the other babies and react accordingly. During music time, the babies are very conscious of each other; they are too young to play together but they will enjoy mirroring each other's actions and obviously wanting what ever the other baby is holding.
The emphasis on working together and sharing really gets going in jellybeans. We don't sing hello to each child anymore at the beginning simply because it would take so long (but I am always debating bringing it back!) but each class is purposefully full of teamwork and sharing opportunites, tidying up, instrument exploration, lining up for stickers, checking everyone has a sticker are just a few but let's not forget the 'big 3' - lycra, scrunchy band and parachute. All 3 of these big pieces of equipment are not without physical danger and if the children (and adults) don't work together all 3 will fail very quickly and be withdrawn without comment. It is fundamentally always our responsibility as the adult to model great teamwork and sharing which is why I will never be able to encourage you enough to join in with the class wholeheartedly. If you stretch the lycra, your child will. If you shake the parachute, your child will. If you lift the scrunchy, your child will. If you share your instruments with another child, your child will. Equally for example if you don't come up to the lycra and hold it, your child will either divebomb it and hurt their face or go underneath disrupting an actitivity where the rest of the children are trying to work together.
So have I persuaded you that we work together as a team yet? If you are undecided, have a look around the room next time you are in class and think again.