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Play Times Plus Preschoolers: A Magnetic Connection!

Fundamental Movement Skills
Fundamental Movement Skills
Kidskills International

10 Strategies to Nurture Movement Development

New brain development research gives caregivers and parents insights into the many connections between playing and the opportunities for learning.

We also know that the terrific benefits children gain during their play times:

  • Improves fitness and health
  • Allow developing friends
  • Offers great tools for social skills development: taking turns, sharing, and working together.
  • Encourages satisfying experiences to develop self-confidence.
  • Practice fundamental movements to embed these tasks to a subconscious, automated motion.
  • Improve coordination and ability to control body both in place and in motion.

The studies show that there are "prime times' during which the brain is efficient at specific types of learning. For the preschoolers, those observable changes in movement we call fundamental movement skills are so important.

Those set of abilities:

1. Body management: balance in place, landing in control, stretching
2. Locomotor steps: run, skip, leap, hop, slide, gallop, jump
3. Controlling objects: swing, toss, catch, strike, targeting

These abilities provide satisfaction and self-confidence for youngsters, as well as contribute to their physical development AND cognitive development.

With some early guidance and gentle feedback, this educational path happens:

Learn to Move Move to Learn Learn to LEARN

Children do NOT pick up fundamental skills naturally as part of their normal growth and development. Instruction, formal training and informal modeling, facilitate gains in motor skill development.

Importantly, the training and teaching yields growth in the underlying mechanisms of the brain that results in movement behavior changes. This is motor development, based within the individual's neurological system.

Parents and caregivers can regards these teaching methods, scientifically and educationally:
The more guided practice times a child has the stronger the motor patterns will e embedded into their neural circuitry. The off-loading of conscious movement performance to a subconscious or automatic execution of a simple task then allows new tasks to be chosen and integrated into movement skills.

Kids love to move. Seek recognition from others through their skill displays, as well are able to join with other children in enjoyable activities, when they have some degree of movement competency.

Fundamental movement skills enable physical activity. Quality education [not fancy] can teach these skills to youngsters~ best in the ages between 3 and 7 years old.

10 Strategies to Build Fundamental Movement Skills
~ Everyday Ways to Move Well ~

1. Create opportunities. This can include field trips, looking for playgrounds to explore, finding open fields for free play.
2. Weave words into physical activities: directions, qualities of movement [like a bear, be light on your feet, slow motion]. There are the names: of body positions, parts of the body, names of play equipment to be learned.
3. Play dumb: when your child asks for something or needs a supporting hand, ask them be name the help they need or the place they want to go: slide, ladder, swing. This will encourage their use of more words to try and express their needs with precise terms.
4. Give choices: It a child is not very talkative, a great way to evoke expressive language is to give two choices. It the child still stumbles on selecting a choice, say: "OK, I will choose for you!". Then pick a choice the child may not prefer. Next time the child will likely state his choice quickly.
5. Ask Open-ended questions: Yes/no questions only get one-word responses. Example, don't ask, "Did you have fun today?" Ask, What did you do today?"
6. Acknowledge the communication you like: Lots of positive feedback will keep them motivated and trying to move in new ways!
7. Give them some responsibilities with directions: Move right now. Little kids want to be treated like BIG kids! For example, let them set up a yard game: baseball, or ask them to get a piece of play equipment: frisbee, hoop, jump rope. Describe where the piece is stored.
8. Occasionally change the WAY a game is played: Don't do this all the time because kids thrive on routine. However, it is a great way to spark some input from kids when you change the way you normally do things.
9. Use Humor and be SILLY! the work of children is to have fun! When they have fun, they are more likely to take in and retain new information. They will also be willing to try new things in new ways: exploring movements: how can you climb over this object.
10. Allow natural consequences to occur but with caution: This works on building cause-and-effect awareness. The awareness of heights, speed and hazards can be easily pointed out in playground settings.

Try to use these strategies to integrate PLAY and learning! Many of the best learning experiences come when children [and adults] are engaged in activities that they enjoy and care about.

IF you are a parent or a teacher, you might find the Kidskills Movement and Sports Training Manuals are a great set of tools to guide movement skill development. Try iTunes iBookstore or Amazon for these eBooks.

Think about extending physical activities are PLAYFUL LEARNING! Make physical activities a pathway to learning to move, moving to learn and in that process: learning to learn!

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