In a perfect world, children would consistently practice progressive sequences of music, movement and vocalization activities that provide them the stimulation, connection and circulation they need to develop their foundation for learning, performing and communication abilities.  In my 30 years of researching, teaching and developing programs for children, I have discovered four strategies that provide children with the most comprehensive approach for building their foundation of strength, balance, endurance, character, confidence and coordination.

I often refer to these strategies as the four priceless gifts you can give your children.  They cost nothing but time and energy.  Like tons of hugs and unconditional love, these four priceless gifts will give your children the quality time and energy they richly deserve.  They will help your children look, sound, move and think their way through a happy childhood!

The LOOK activities involve exercising the face muscles and eyeballs to promote smiling.  Smiling relaxes the face muscles.  Relaxed face muscles allow more blood and energy to circulate through their brain which will brighten their eyes, increase their alertness, elevate their mood and improve their appearance!  As a gymnastics instructor, I found that kids who smiled more frequently and used their face muscles would advance from skill to skill faster than children who were less expressive and more “stoned face.”

Make it your intention to smile at your children everyday, for a couple of minutes several times a day.  You’ll be surprised at the number of smiles you will receive in return.

SOUND involves singing, humming, howling and other vocal activities that will stimulate the cells, tissues and organs, as well as to relax the muscles of the chest, throat and abdominal areas.  This helps release muscular tension, increases circulation of blood and energy, facilitates deeper breathing and stimulates all vocal processes.  It’s plain to see how the making of sounds can be one of the most effective means for releasing inhibition and anxieties in children, especially a good laugh!

Take time to sing, hum, howl and laugh with children whenever possible. You don’t even have to say anything to practice this strategy, just make sounds.

Children love to MOVE, and seem to intuitively know the value of this priceless gift.  They achieve optimal performance capabilities and build strength, balance, endurance, character, confidence and coordination through the repetition of sequential movement patterns.  Movement is also one of the most effective ways to manage stress and maintain emotional stability which makes learning, performing and communicating more fun, effortless and desirable.   

Play music and dance whenever possible.  Stop the music periodically and have your children freeze and hold their posture to help them learn to listen and control their bodies step by step.

The fourth priceless gift involves repeating the phrases that contain the thoughts children need to be able to THINK.  Especially those thoughts that develop the positive attitudes, habits and belief systems that will build a positive self image and motivate them to keep moving and improving throughout their lives.

Use these three power phrases as often as possible: Do Your Best!  You Are Good!  I Like You! They are especially effective to use when you need to redirect or discipline a child’s behavior.

So there you have it, Four Priceless Gifts that will keep your children Moving and Improving while building their foundation of strength, balance, character, confidence and coordination.

  1. Keep them smiling to relax their face muscles and remain bright eyed, alert and bushy tailed.
  2. Keep them singing, humming, howling and laughing to release their fears and sound like they’re happy. 
  3. Keep them moving through progressive sequences of purposeful and creative movement patterns.
  4. And remember to keep them thinking like they can always do their best, be good enough and liked by you!


© Scott Liebler 2017

Scott Liebler has been researching, teaching and developing early childhood development programs for thirty years.  He is the creator of Funsical – - a curriculum of music, movement and language activities that appeal to children’s natural desire to move and have fun while developing essential skills.  He is the author of Safegard Classes On Line - Music, Movement and Language early childhood courses and How to Take a Chill Pill stress management program. He has served as an adjunct faculty member for Front Range Community College in Denver, CO, a seminar presenter for the Bureau of Education and Research (BER) and administers the Move to Improve program for early childhood communities.  For information on Funsical audio CD’s, curriculum materials and training programs please visit or call 303-902-4985