While doing recent blog posts on using the 5 senses for kindergarten readiness and brain development, I learned that we can add 2 more. Besides taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing we have the senses of movement and of our body position in space. This sense of movement is tremendously important for all learning.
At the next presentation to a group of parents and caregivers about helping kids get ready for kindergarten, I could include this question:
Think of how we use exercise to build muscles and strong bodies. For kids to develop strong brains, would they need to:
b) solve problems that go from easy and get harder and harder, or
c) start early with flash cards, baby programs etc.
Would you have known the answer is a) kids need to move? On the surface, it seems that helping children learn to be calm, relaxed and still would be helpful for kindergarten readiness but “The most powerful tool for fostering the growth and development of neural connections in your child’s brain is physical movement.” (Moving Smart: Growing Your Child’s Brain) Both strong bodies and strong brains need movement.
Sally at Fairy Dust Teaching explains it this way, “Developing this sense a child learns to: sit, push, crawl, stand, the ability to walk upright and speak the mother tongue. The development of thinking is interwoven in motor development.” Yes, you read that right; to learn to use language kids need the brain connections formed through moving. WOW, no wonder kids move so much even in sleep. It’s the fuel for their brains for all kinds of learning.
Today is either a regular Monday or a long-weekend Monday, depending on your location — it’s Victoria Day in Canada. Whichever one it is for you and your family, include some moving around time. Maybe, some climbing, riding, and swinging at the playground, running in the park, chasing in the backyard, action songs in the house, jumping on a mat, or rolling in the grass time? What will you and your child do this moving Monday to help develop strong, healthy bodies and strong, healthy brains for kindergarten readiness and later, too?