Bells are one of the most visual parts of a Zumbini class, and one of the most delicious too! These shiny, jingly instruments are a quick favorite for many young children because of the sounds they are able to produce. Whether just turning over the bells carefully in their hands or shaking them as fast as possible, all children are able to make a sound!
When using bells in Zumbini we find so many ways to manipulate these instruments. We can shake slowly, quietly hearing the jingle sounds. Or we can shake quickly, making a much louder sound coming from the same instrument. We can shake them over our heads, with arms out to the side, behind our backs, or close to the body. When moving our bodies in many different ways, the children are also developing their proprioceptive and visual senses.
But why are they so delicious too? Why must my kid eat these things?
Bells have two textures to explore: the shiny metal covering of the bell itself and the cloth strap that attaches the bells together. We know that young children learn about the world around them by mouthing everything because it is the best way their brains can determine a lot of information. For this same reason, this instrument has so many shapes, textures, and sounds that it seems they must be eaten. (No worries parents, I clean after every class as we expect this to happen!)
No matter how little, all children can engage and enjoy bells!
One of my favorite ways to use bells with our very young musicians is gently placing them around their ankles. With each kick and flail young babies realize they are causing an effect in the musical world around them. This leads to another investigation of how they can cause that sound to happen again. With a little more trial and error they will start to realize moving their legs, in the same way, causes the same sounds to appear.
Have fun jingling and jangling with your little one using bells in Zumbini soon!