Imitation. Finger Play. Songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider and Wheels on the Bus serve more than just a means to entertain a young child. They help increase attention span. They help hone in on those fine motor skills. They help with speech and communication. They help with socialization.
This is a video of Ellie rocking out to Pete The Cat's version of Wheels on the Bus. To some, this video may not look all that exciting, however, to me, it is amazing. My daughter, the rockstar. Her awesomeness captured briefly on my iPhone.
For starters, Ellie is sitting, sort of. Let me repeat that. My hyperactive, spider monkey is s-i-t-t-i-n-g!
Typically, I sit (okay, attempt to sit) with Ellie and go through the hand motions with her--round and round, up and down, wah-wah-wah, shhh-shhh-shh, honking the horn, swish swish swish.
In the beginning, I helped her make these movements by hand-over-hand. Eventually, I would remove my hands and encourage her to imitate my hand movements on her own. Yet, in this video, my little girl is going through the motions UNPROMPTED. Yes, she is doing this of her own accord. This is HUGE!!!! Her "up and down" has been Ellie-fied so that she is using her body instead of her hands. During her "up and down", you also notice the she "checks in with me". This is a big developmental milestone. You can see where she thought the next movement was the horn rather than the driver's move on back. You can see where she is rather late in mimicking the mommies on the bus going shhh-shhh-shh, but she does it! Finally, you can hear her vocalizing. Yes, making sounds with her mouth. My non-verbal darling belting out "WAH!" and whispering "ssshhhhh" and at the end cheering with all she's got.
In case the video does not work, here is the youtube link.
Other YouTube videos that Ellie enjoys:
Pete The Cat's- I Love My White Shoes
Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you see?-song
Phonic Learning Song 3