When you think of helping your child with kindergarten readiness would your first thought be “Academics”? While we used to believe that children who struggled in school needed academic preparation before starting kindergarten, more recent studies are showing that readiness is a much broader package. Readiness needs to be age appropriate, based on development and to consider the whole child.
New research on brain development is showing how interconnected the mind and body are, so much so that another 2 senses have been added. In addition to sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste there are 2 more for the sense of movement and the sense of the body’s position in space. Have you ever watched an infant staring at his/her hands, moving them in wonder and figuring out what hands can do? Not only is the baby learning how hands and fingers work, but at the same time, the brain is learning how it works, too.
There are many ways to include some moving fun for your child. At home, a non-slippery mat or piece of carpet on the floor is fun for jumping and hopping. Dancing around to music is fun for kids and grownups. You may be able to include some walks, jogs or hikes in the day. Some communities have drop-in programs or parent-tot gym time. Playgrounds and parks are other possibilities.
A very common new year’s resolution for grownups is to increase physical activity. Important as physical activity is to us, it’s even more important for young children. Yes, kids may seem active all the time, but did you know that moving is one of the ways that new brains organize the pathways for learning language and math? Movement is a powerful tool for all kinds of learning, even academics. How about an action plan for your child’s early learning and fun?