What in the world is ' ContaKids'?!!
ContaKids is a group that gather for fun, movement and partnering games aimed especially for an adult and child duo. No special experience is required. Guiding you through your time is an experienced dancer with a passion for movement, children and families. Putting time aside to build trust, strength, team work, confidence and communication together - ContaKids is unique in it's offering.
The session is 45 minutes - 1 hour, in which we play lots of physical games. You are always in equal partnership with your little one while we move together as a group.
We dance, we swim and swoop, we go upside down, roll, jump, fall and run. Both Adult and child can expect to be challenged, make friends and have a lot of fun.
Unlike most classes for kids, the adult is as much a part of the scenario as the Little One - taking full advantage of the special adult / child bond present at this stage in a child's life
Contakids is a methodology that pushes the idea of using physical contact to develop a deeper form of communication between parents and their children, that both will find enjoyable. By working with bodily movements, the child can enhance their motor skills and self-confidence, while the parents get to develop a bond of trust with their kids.
Physical play contains huge possibility to enhance a child’s motor development process - of course children work on this all the time through play and risk taking, experiments and bruised knees. The question is - are we as adults, in our quest to keep them safe and well, happy and learning, occasionally inhibiting rather than enhancing this very natural process?
ContaKids focuses on several key principles that allow us to take development at the childs pace and with the child's willingness to participate. They ensure that play is an exploration that fully challenges children and their adults both physically and also, for the adult, in their own habits and instincts.
The Key Principles:
The best form of learning is experience, and failure is a key aspect of this process. At CK we allow the child encounter everything while minimally protecting them. We allow the child to fall as much as possible, because it is incredibly valuable and often avoided. We aim to understand only where they could really get hurt and interfere specifically BUT allow everything else, knowing that it is all part of important experimentation, growth development and learning. The environment is focused and awareness is key.
As adults we often cuddle, wear or hold our kids, and the child can become accustomed to being passive and feeling heavy. When the child is the one responsible for being off the ground then they become active and hold themselves, developing greater awareness of the possibilities available to them on the bodily terrain of the adult.
When the adult refrains from using their hands to keep the child on their body, they develop motor skills by finding new angles and positions to stop the little one from slipping off. The ability to sense and receive information through the skin is awakened, and adults become acutely aware of the child’s exact location on their body, the manner in which the child is staying in place and the position that they are in be it right way up, upside down or on their side.
As adults we tend to do things to our children and make decisions for them - pick them up, dress them, turn them over and so on. Although the world of a studio and people is stimulating enough for a child, the desire to create a “pleasant encounter”, learn something or not break or hurt (more!) stuff causes adults to play in a very narrow way that focuses on a specific goal, but misses out on other opportunities. ContaKids conciously practices recognising that the child’s interests are are usually different from the experience that the adult wants them to have, and in class we allow the child to follow their own desires.
Dancing together places the roles of adult and child on an equal footing; each has the freedom to choose their next move and nothing is forced upon the other. The child develops their independence with the support of the parent, allowing for a more open physical movement.
Last but definitely not least: Fun. Lets have some!
Physical play: We are all moving, learning and growing
ContaKids is ideally suited to couples comprised of
1 x adult and 1 x 2 - 5 year old child.
If this is not your situation however and you'd still like to try then do feel free to get in touch to ask for advice or come to a taster class to find out if you can make it work. I have seen parents handle toddlers while pregnant, twins, two young children very well, all claiming the class worked very well for them - but please do get in touch and we can think about it together. Adult participation is full, commited and focused, so it's important you both / all feel comfortable, able and have fun.