Young children seem to need to be constantly on the move, wriggling, “fidgeting” and dashing about. Some find it hard to sit still for long periods of time and pay attention in the way that school often demands, and to develop the skills required to read and to write such as following instructions, holding a pen or pencil and following a line of print.
So how can we help them with early mark making, writing and reading?
Gill Connell tells concerned parents and teachers that the best way to improve their children’s handwriting skills is to “Put your pencils down and go play on the monkey bars” (Connell & McCarthy, 2014)
This is because the skills required for learning are dependent on the maturity of the nervous system, and in this course we will consider the importance of movement, dance and play opportunities for babies and young children in the development of firm sensory and motor foundations.
Children need to move in order to learn as body movement stimulates the growth of brain circuitry.
We will explore the connections between physical movement and brain development, particularly in early life when development is at its most rapid, and affects all that comes later.
We will explore the connections with later learning skills needed for school, and go on to consider children as meaning makers and communicators through story and image as they acquire expressive language.
Sally Goddard Blythe of INPP summarises the process,
“If motion is a child’s first language, then sensation is his second. Only when both motion and sensation are working together can the higher language skills of speech, reading and writing develop fluently. Our children who roll and tumble are engaged in their first lesson to become the Einsteins of the future”
Trainer: Jasmine Pasch