Developing crucial skills through play
Now that the holidays are over, let’s weigh in some of those keepers – specifically, those pesky toys that take up space and may cram not only your space, but your style. As with any toys, there’s always an upside. They are likely the toys that go a long way in helping toddlers and preschoolers enhance their gross motor skills; a critical aspect of body and mind development in early childhood.
At Rosewood Academy, gross motor skill development is a fun part of daily routine across all age groups; whether it’s dancing while singing, jumping up and down while learning the letter or number of the week, or just monkeying around on the playground. Children especially enjoy weekly classes with Mr. Bonner, Rosewood’s own physical fitness coach.
Back to those holiday gifts. If your child happened to have been gifted some of those favored by fitness experts, you’re in luck. If not, when you’re on the search for ways in which to channel their energy, take some tips from Sheryl Cooper, founder of Teaching 2 and 3 year olds.
Play tunnels teach bilateral coordination skills – left and right side – as well as core, neck, shoulder and leg strengthening. When balancing their body weight on all fours while crawling, tunnels help children’s vestibular system; inner ear and balance.
Schools love using parachutes for group large motor play, lifting and lowering it while singing songs with eager children. These activities help develop a child’s upper torso and strengthen shoulder, arm and hand muscles.
Ball play can help a child develop vital gross motor skills such as: bouncing, rolling, catching, throwing, kicking, aiming, and tracking. What’s great is that in the process, they’re enhancing social skills through interactions with other children.
Developing motor and balance skills further, a popular toy is scooter boards .
The actions of maneuvering, swerving and twisting and balancing provide excellent opportunities to fine tune gross motor skills.
Finally, take a look at Moluk Bilibo Chairs . The benefits include, “stimulating creativity, improving hand-eye coordination, strengthening the core, improving balance, and helping with sensory issues.” (Teaching2and3yearolds.com). Preschoolers and toddlers rock side to side in these chairs and pick them up due to their size to turn them over and even practice balancing on them – but those are just a few of the ways you can use these chairs!
Visit Sheryl Moore’s link for more information.