Thursday, August 5, 2010


The preparation of the mind/body connection for preschool age children is of paramount importance as noted in the 1979 study released by the Department of Education in Washington, DC. This study demonstrated that there is concern for our nation’s young children and their lack of preparedness to enter Kindergarten with basic knowledge. These concerns still plague us today.Those children who are not confident with their own movement personality and skills, who have not developed strong identities and have not had the opportunity to develop and test their over all abilities will not develop a strong sense of self-esteem. These students are always playing catch-up throughout their school years. The frustration of this scenario leads many to drop out of school and stray from a path of success and self-fulfillment.Before children learn to walk they crawl, and before they crawl they move their arms and legs (these are gross motor movements). If we don’t encourage our children to participate in activities such as developmentally planned movement programs, they will not fully develop their bodies and their minds. A problem solving mind is a creative mind and creative minds are developed over a period of time through developmental movement activities such as age appropriate dance and music.

Blending academics is a natural progression when young children are involved with movement and dance. Learning is fun when you can see the word "Circle" and circle your arms, or see the shape "Circle" and hop around the circle. Sequencing a combination of movements helps to develop memory and placing your body in various shapes promotes balance and coordination, especially when asked to move from shape to shape as the music changes in tempo and mood. Problem solving and language development are key ingredients in these programs as well. A child is asked "How would you slide from corner one, to corner two?" or "What other direction can your body turn?" The possibilities for thinking creatively are endless and the children love the challenge of learning to move their bodies in a variety of ways, both structured and unstructured. Having many senses excited greatly enhances learning because we all learn differently so it is important to teach to all of the senses in a variety of different ways. This eclectic approach to learning allows the children to learn and grow at their own pace.
In conclusion, a developmentally designed movement program will enhance a young child’s ability to learn and grow. The young child’s nervous system will be given an opportunity to properly develop, ensuring that the mind and body are working as one.
If this is an area of interest to you, or if you are involved with young children, have children, or grandchildren in your life, I would be interested in your feedback, comments, or questions, on how we can help our young children whose movement education is in jeopardy in today's world with obesity and health issues on the rise? It's time to say no more talk, we need action!

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