Do you remember that song about the leg bone connected to the knee bone? It’s inspired today’s post about how movement is another connection for kindergarten readiness.
Movement activities are not just important for healthy development of children’s bodies, but also for brains. Moving is one of the strategies that the brain uses for creating the wiring for learning. We all have an additional two senses: the sense of the body’s position in space and the sense of movement. Have you ever watched a very young child going round and round in a circle? That child is discovering how the body feels as it moves. Some kids like to pretend that they are falling or tripping over things. Again, that’s a way to explore both moving and the position in space. Hanging upside down over the edge of a chair or sofa or bed is another body-brain challenge. It’s tricky to get coordinated in this position.
Coordinating the body and brain requires a tremendous amount of trial and error. I watched a young child practicing jumping over and over. One leg could get up in the air, but not the other. She hadn’t figured out how to push off with both legs at the same time. She was determined though to figure it out. This is a new brain pathway, not the same one that’s used for alternating movement.
Jumping, in particular, encourages the growth of a strong skeleton, but there are countless other movement activities such as hopping, balancing, crawling, rolling, twirling, twisting, dancing, climbing, pulling, pushing, plus more, that are all beneficial for kindergarten readiness fun and learning. Kids learn ‘on the move’.
Bones are all connected and so are brains and bodies. For a play-of-the-day, connect to some moving fun, inside the house or care center and, if the weather permits, outside too. Maybe we need to add a verse “These bones are connected to our brains?”