Dancing with my Nephew

Movement Activities for Children

I have been reminiscing and enjoying Raffi songs with my nephew, Ishaan in London. I vividly recall my cousin learning those songs when he was young.

So when my teacher, Sri Ujwal Jagadeesh suggested taping some Ramana rhymes for parents to do with children, I was interested because I could do it with my nephew. Since my nephew was expected to visit us soon, I was motivated to learn this song. Even when my nephew was only a few months old, he would sit on my mother’s lap and watch my dance class for more than half an hour. So I thought he might enjoy the movement activities.

February 7, 2023

Today, I was dancing with my 1 1/2 year old nephew. We did many dances. I am sharing some of the videos so parents can try with their children.

Thanks to Nikhil Thotam for the detailed body parts picture. Parents can also use this picture in their lessons.

If you are doing the body parts song with an older child, you can also draw and color a body parts picture. Since my nephew is only one and a half years old, we did the songs in a certain way.

Overall, he enjoyed doing the songs with my mother and me daily. He started interacting with me quickly and he would come up to me and raise his hands because he wanted me to carry him. So, I plan to learn some more songs from Ujwal anna ((anna means elder brother in Tamil. In RASA, we refer to teachers as anna and akka)). Then, I will have more activities to do with Ishaan when I visit him in London.

Pada Beda

First, we did the pada beda or the movements of the feet. My mom carries the baby while I do the movements. My mom does some of the movements. Ishaan enjoyed the pada beda. He kept looking at my feet when I did the different movements.

View the Pada Beda video below:

Animal Song

My role was to sing the song and to dance. My mother carried Ishaan and did some of the steps. Ishaan watched me with great interest especially when I sang the song. If I only danced, he would look at me for some time, and would look at the computer some time.

See the animal song video below:

Body Parts Song

In this song also, my role was to sing and dance. My mom roamed around with Ishaan behind me for La, La, La La La. We noticed that Ishaan would touch his eyes and nose sometimes when we did this song.

See the video below:

Fruit Song

I had not practiced this song with Ujwal anna. But we still played the song and did some actions.

Theater Arts4LIFE

Family interactions is one of the four LIFE pillars (L: Learning daily, I: Interests, F: Family interactions, E: Engagement with community).

Movement facilitated daily learning (L). I always start my day with a walk and dance. For the last two weeks, my dance routine was different and I was dancing with Ishaan rather than my usual routine.

I love dance and have been learning Bharatanatyam for over 10 years. I am now able to explore my interest (I) in different ways due to the Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD approach used by Ujwal anna.

The movement activities enabled me to interact better with my nephew. Ishaan wanted me to carry him daily. Even before he left for the airport, he wanted me to carry him even though it was early in the morning and he was half asleep.

My teacher and I started creating these videos for parents to do with children. So the videos are also a way for me to engage the LIFESMART community and the SpecialSaathi community (E: Engagement with community).

Dear parents,

How do you use the arts to engage your child? How does your child use arts to engage others?

Join the conversation here and let us know!

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