Whether a child is running around the playground, playing tag or building a ladybug kingdom, creativity and movement play a huge role in a child’s growth. More specifically, movement makes an impact in these three areas of a child’s development:
If you want to encourage activity in your children, focus on those three types of movement and look for educational opportunities that focus on them as well. Learn how and why to make learning an active experience for your kids with the tips below.
MOTOR SKILLSToday, kids are spending less and less time being active. With sources like television and computers, kids are spending more time sitting and watching a screen rather than throwing a ball or running around outside. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that kids ages 8 to 18 are spending about seven and a half hours a day on electronic devices.
This sedentary living has accounted for a rise in health problems in young children. However, children who live active lives can more easily learn basic motor skills like running, jumping and climbing. Being active at a young age is so crucial because it contributes to that child staying active far into the future.
SOCIAL SKILLSNot only does movement contribute to the health and basic motor skills of a child, but it also provides a sense of independence and self-awareness. Learning comes from experience. Many people learn better by doing rather than just observing, and that is especially true for children.
Movement provides children with the agency to be creative and express themselves. They are able to choose their next action and create a strategy when playing a game. They become more self-aware of their own uniqueness and individuality. Participating in activities with peers helps build friendships where children learn how to interact with others and how to process their emotions.
COGNITIVE LEARNINGMovement allows children the chance to problem-solve. If you think about even a simple game of tag, a child has to figure out the best way to stay safe or to catch someone. When children has the chance to move around certain objects, they are able to gain a more concrete understanding of important concepts like geometry and action words.
Children also learn through trial and error. For example, they can come to understand opposites by playing on a jungle gym. At the top of the slide, they are up. After they take a ride on the slide, they are down. They can learn about open and closed by crawling through tunnels. On the swings, they can learn about backwards and forwards and fast and slow.
In children and adults, memory and movement are also linked. Studies have shown that the act of taking notes by hand improves knowledge retention better than typing them into a computer. The same principle applies to kids. Being active helps a child stay attentive. When a child is actively engaged, they are more likely to understand and remember what they are learning.
MOVEMENT IN THE CLASSROOM
Movement within academia is crucial for the development of a child. It allows a child to become more confident physically, emotionally and socially. Physical activity stimulates the brain more than just sitting at a desk. Being active in the classroom is a vital factor that should be implemented in every school.
Kids Express Learning Center believes in this principle. Our 10-acre property is home to alpacas, sheep and goats. We also have sport courts, nature trails, organic gardens and gyms. With such an environment, your child will get the most out of the learning experience.