On Tuesday I attended a fantastic conference about getting children moving. The lovely Jan White, author of Every Child A Mover presented on
- Physical movement is an innate need for children
- Physical movement helps neurons in the brain communicate which in turn leads to academic success.
- Good learning involves physical movement.
- The body and mind is one system, thought is action internalised
When looking at the need for movement and the ways children need to move she really brought it home to all adults in the room with a check list – do you remember doing this…. does your child do this…?
- Trying to swing so high, you aim to go right over the swing frame.
- Lying your tummy on a swing seat, swing forwards and back.
- Lying on your tummy on the swing, twisting the swing in one direction then lifting your feet to let it turn all the way back.
- Hold your parents hands, climb up their body with your feet, then turn over.
- Being held by your parent, one arm, one ankle and flying round like an aeroplane.
- Hanging upside down on monkey bars.
- Log rolls down a hill.
- Sitting on a metal bar, one leg over, go forwards, swing all way round back to the top.
- Swinging on a rope.
- Your mum or dad lie on their back, legs up in the air and you balanced on their feet, arms out stretched.
- Spin round and round, arms out stretched until you almost fall down.
- Wheel-barrow races with a friend.
- Handstands against a wall.
- Try to stand on one leg, then try with your eyes closed.
Chidren need to do all these things to develop their sense of balance, spatial awareness, upper body and core strength so they can support their body for the increasingly long periods of time they are expected to sit and write, which isn’t fully developed until age 7.
HOMEWORK: Over the next few weeks, make a real effort to ensure your kids are outside and moving, learning to assess risk, take risks, experience spinning, turning, rolling, jumping, pushing, pulling, hanging, stretching etc. I’d love to see photos. This week I returned to nursery with a renewed commitment to auditing our outside area – across Early Years, to ensure children are physically challenged daily.
That said, for those of you joining us in reception class next September, there is a huge challenge ahead to get the outside area ‘child ready.’ As Head of Early Years, I am working wih Miss Turffrey to develop the outdoor curriculum. We are a task force of two at the moment but we are hoping that lots of you can volunteer your time, skills and creativeness to develop the Early Years area in Reception. Don’t be shy, I have a job with your name on it…
First off, the children of our lovely Mrs. Kimber have donated their outdoor trampoline. I intend to dig a large hole and put it in the ground. I need to work fast before they change their mind! Could you give a few hours to help? I also want to create a tyre mountain (thanks for the tyres Mrs Lomas) and also simply a huge mound of earth – can you imagine the fun pushing that large blue barrel to the top then letting it go, or doing log rolls to the bottom, racing your friends. There are also swings to put up, a mud kitchen to build, a garden area to be ripped out and re-landscaped. We need shelves outdoors for resources, a water area built and I would like to turn one of the sheds into a sand pit as it is so hugely popular in nursery. A letter went out this week asking for your help. Please get in touch asap.
A few more photos:
Next Week: We are continuing to plant seeds and care for the garden. Did your cress grow? The children have also been looking for bugs so they are going to look at insects more closely. I will be making sensory bottles as an adult led activity as part of Science Week.
Keep reading your Teddy words if your child shows that they are ready and interested.
I am also focusing on oral counting this week. How high can your child count securely?