For each of us, kid, former athlete, older generation: we have control and move using a movement vocabulary. Those simple and fundamental abilities to move from here to there, as well as to accomplish some tasks and express some physical actions....though there is a range of skill levels we each OWN our moves!
Surely, the acquisition of basic locomotor skills demonstrate a progressive sequence of reaching, rolling, supporting one's weight on hands, knees and then feet but we also have a set of fundamental controls:
Leaving the ground: jumps, hops, leaps, rolls
Responding to shifts in support
Rhythmic actions: skipping
The skill acquisitions, even for trained and elite athletes, all rest on mastery of the fundamental movements.
So, want to make a quick check on your own preschoolers' moves? Challenge them to TRY some of these activities. In the process of exploring and attempting the actions, your children will learn to move and then move to learn. That whole process will cultivate the connections between body and brain and help them further their learning!
Ten Moves to Try! [ Preschoolers: 3-6 years ]
- Stand on one straight leg and extend the 'free' leg forward: balance for 3 seconds.
- Stand on 1 straight leg; free leg...tucked towards body a bit. HOP [in place] 3 times LAND
- Stand on tip toes: arms stretched to sides. Can you HOLD 'high toes' for 5 seconds?
- Can your child place their feet, side-by-side, bend both knees and place their hands on the floor, in front of their feet? This position is called a TUCK.
- Place a wadded paper 10-15 inches [20-30 cm.] in front of the child, on floor. ASK them to bend their knees, allow arms to swing down and then JUMP over the wadded paper. What happened?
- Place a 'dot' on the floor. Can the child run away and return to the spot? Count to ten while they are running and then CLAP your hands to give child a cue to return to starting dot.
- HANG by hands: Find a safe and study bar [one that will allow child to grasp it comfortably] and ASK then to grasp the bar and lift their feet OFF the ground. Can they hand there for 3 seconds?
- What about going up and coming down a few stairs? Be near child for safety: see if they can go UP 3 steps and then turn and descend the same 3 stairs. Are they using the SAME FOOT to lead each direction? Can they alternate 'leading' foot?
- Who can climb a playground ladder?
- Who can lie on the ground/floor [with legs straight and arms along the sides of body] and roll like a LOG? Can the child do this log rolling to both directions? NO bending of knees or use of arms/hands. Great for spinal strengthening!
So, note this checklist and make a fun time of this review of fundamental abilities.
Maybe the trying will bring that happy cry: "I Can Do That!" from you child.
If you or someone you know who is teaching might need a progressively organized set of Movement and Sports Training lessons, visit the Apple iBookstore and find the 6 part Kidskills Training Manuals.