The summer season for families may be a little bitter-sweet — on one hand, your school-aged children are on vacation, and in that same breath, they’re out for three months which can make planning and executing their daily activities very difficult! With the influx of technology and all the electronic gadgets that are available to them, some days it takes a little coaxing to get them outside and being active.
Physical activity is crucial for everyone — from babies to seniors. At Community Education Research Group, we understand the importance of physical activity in kids and make it a part of our daily classroom activities, whether we’re dancing around singing silly songs or out on the playground, we get the kids moving! Join us today in exploring and wading through what physical activity looks like for young children, including toddlers and preschool-aged children.
Why is Early Childhood Activity Important?
Just like the scenario we described above about school-aged children needing to put down electronics and get moving, the same is true for younger children — toddlers and preschoolers. As a parent or caregiver, it’s easy to get into a rut and let children spend their days indoors with technology because it keeps them occupied, but physical activity is imperative for them, too.
It’s no secret that children are largely suffering from both poor eating habits and a lack of activity, as one-third of American children are overweight or obese. This is one of the main factors we hear reported excessively on in the media, but early childhood activity is beneficial for so many things including:
- Increased focus and attention in school
- Adapting to and learning new skills
- Healthy self-esteem
- Better overall health and wellness
- Improving posture
- Initiating and establishing connections in the brain
- Healthy sleep patterns
- Increased development of fine and gross motor skills
Establishing movement and physical activity now helps to build a healthy foundation and create strong, positive habits that will benefit them for a lifetime.
Movement and Learning
As kids are developing, they’re still learning how to come into their bodies. Toddlers have just started walking, so orienting themselves in space is new and exciting, as they’re using all of their senses to experience the world. When movement is limited and restricted, this impedes on their learning and experiences, and the trial and error of it all. The toddler years are known for bumps and bruises, and that’s because they’re running into things and falling — but it’s because they’re learning through movement! When a child is allowed to move freely, they can connect bigger concepts to an action and learn through their positive and negative experiences.
More and more bodies of research are being produced and solidified, demonstrating that not only do kids need movement, but they need movement in the classroom. Movement is linked with increased memory and it adds to learning. In no way is movement a detour or a break, it engages kids. Consider this scenario: your child is in a preschool education program and given a set of blocks and asked to create something. In this process, they’re exposed to math and science as they’re moving around trying to stabilize what they build and think if it’s symmetrical or needs to be built higher.
The endgame of it all is kids need more movement and adapting more movement into their everyday activities is highly advantageous.
And now we’ll leave you to ponder movement and how you can help your child get more of it! There is more to come on this topic, so stay tuned for part two!