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In the height of COVID-19 government restrictions, staying safe meant singing and dancing had to be momentarily cut from the curriculum. Now that kids are getting their groove back, the Sparkways children at Footscray's Billy Button Children's Centre know what’s in and what’s out when it comes to the early years D Floor.

For many Melbournians, it’s a time that still makes us shudder to think about.

In 2020 and the two years to follow, government restrictions meant there were only four reasons to leave home for longer than many of us ever dreamed of.

And while the slow return to our new normal was a welcome one, it meant that for a time, activities like singing, dancing and dress ups in early learning services were too much of a transmission risk.

Fast forward two years, and no-one is more excited to be getting their groove on than the thousands of children in early learning and care services who are now able to pull on their favourite pretend play outfit and sing and jump around to their favourite tunes.

“As educators, we know these activities are so very beneficial and now that we're coming back out the other side of COVID restrictions, it’s good to see our services have jumped back into music and movement really, quickly,” Sparkways Operations Manager, Amy Carr explains.

“We understand that these were necessary steps to take but it’s something many of our early childhood educators have really missed because it can be just so much fun and it can do so much to help children’s learning outcomes.”

Research has found that people feel more positive after actively singing than they do after passively listening to music or after chatting about positive life events.

Improved mood, in part, comes from the release of positive neurochemicals such as β-endorphin, dopamine and serotonin.

In addition, music and dance benefit early learners by engaging the brain, helping to develop communication skills, self-expression and physical skills – not to mention imagination.

“Repetition is really important to help children with their language skills - and singing is also fun to do so that then adds to their social skills, they feel a part of a group which is really helpful for their wellbeing,” Amy explains.

“During COVID restrictions some of our fun really disappeared for a while. It was really difficult and hit us all differently and I think it's changed the way that we think about the world - understandably.

“We are just so delighted to see the children jumping up and down to their favourite tunes again and we know that with every dance move they’ll be skill building for life every step of the way.”

Top Five Dance Floor Tunes as Surveyed by Sparkways Services:

  1. Baby Shark
  2. Let it go – Frozen
  3. Taba Naba
  4. Inanay
  5. Welcome to Country (not one of our sites but where they got the idea from)

Special thanks to the 'Maribyrnong Hobsons Bay Star Weekly' for also publishing this news story: