Why do we lap bounce?
Whether doing a Kindermusik class with a baby or toddler you will all have noticed that we love doing a lap bouncing activity. This is not just because it is lots of fun for you and your little one but there are many benefits to lap bouncing.
What is a lap bounce?
A lap bounce is something many new parents find they naturally do with their little ones. You may have noticed that your little one will want to sit on your lap whilst at home and it is a lovely opportunity to have a cuddle. They get to feel close to you physically and feel safe and secure sitting on your knee. The lap bounce is a natural extension of this activity and one that has been done by generations with different songs and lyrics.
During a lap bounce, your little one can face outwards or they can face towards you which allows for lovely eye contact. You then gently bounce your little one up and down on your lap.
What are the benefits of lap bouncing?
When we bounce our little ones up and down on our lap we help them to develop awareness of a steady beat. When they were in the womb, they could hear the steady beat of your heart and now during a lap bounce you can help them feel a steady beat too! This will help their future language development as they will be better able to recognise patterns in language (Kindermusik, 2021).
As your little one bounces on your lap, this movement also stimulates their vestibular system. This is a sensory system which is mainly located within the inner ear (neuroscientifically challenged, 2021) It helps your little one develop their sense of balance and coordination by providing information to the brain about where their body is in relation to their environment. So, when you bounce your little one on your lap the vestibular system sends information to the brain. The brain processes this new information and enables the eyes to focus on a moving target. This enables your little one to keep their balance as they are being moved and the same skill will help them to be able to read text in a book later when they go to school – what a fantastic skill to practise!
Lots of songs work well for a lap bounce. You could try Hickory Dickory dock so start off by gently bouncing your little one up and down as you say, “tick tock tick tock”. Then you can sing the song whilst always watching your little one for their reaction. If at any point they look like they are no longer enjoying it, stop the activity and give it a try another day. You can start off slowly and then gradually increase the speed of the lap bounce which usually results in big smiles.
Let us know in the comments below what are your little one’s favourites songs to have a lap bounce to?