Series Part #9: Helping Kids Get Ready for Kindergarten Includes Movement Activities
Did you know that running, walking, hopping, jumping and other ways that kids move can help them get ready to start school? After all, kids learn ‘on the move’.
As adults, we only need to be stuck in an airplane seat for a few hours to appreciate the importance of moving and space. In fact, movement is critically important for early learning and brain development. Because moving is how a baby first explores and interacts with the world, moving creates a foundation for learning. We can add the sense of the position of the body in space and the sense of movement to our other five senses, 5 plus 2.
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.
To help develop children’s brain pathways and connections, include some space and time for movement activities. Sometimes, an entire house seems too small to contain all that moving energy ! Playgrounds and parks aren’t luxuries, they are essentials. Even hallways will work and kids can hop, skip, jump, twirl, twist down the hall. Put on some music and dance together. Sometimes kids like a yoga or other mat for an exercise space. Sing and do action songs. The words “take a hike” are a super suggestion and another form of active play.
How can these ordinary activities lead to extraordinary learning? As human beings, we are put together so that we learn from what we do most often. That’s nature’s best chance for survival. If it’s something we do ordinarily, that increases the chances that it will be there for us to learn and do. Kids move their bodies. Why? For their brains. Since brains need to move to learn, nature hard wires the need to move in the body. Even tiny unborn babies can have quite a kick! 1, 2, 3, GO! What kinds of movin’ and groovin’ does your child like to do?