Spending too much time at home lately? Kids are usually a bundle of energy, but if they’ve been becoming lethargic, spending too much time on their devices, or sticking to sit-down activities, it won’t bode well for the development of their growing bodies.
With the body as the brain’s first teacher, you’d want to encourage your young PYP child in a variety of movements so that he is constantly engaged and learning! Not sure if you’re given your child sufficient moving opportunities? Check out how IB schools in Singapore are seeing the value and utilising movement in their curriculum.
How does movement help kids in their development?
The basics or the ABC’s of physical education is agility, balance and coordination. Although what you might see is your child simply jumping from one end of the room to the other, his motor and cognitive skills are being developed at the same time!
What actually happens is that the movement builds sensory perceptions and pathways in the brain, engaging your child and speeding up his learning process. Additionally, studies have shown that gross motor skills can lead to quicker improvements in fine motor skills. For instance, the regular use of larger arm muscles (gross motor skills) to throw a ball, forms the basis for fine motor skills like mastering the art of hold a pencil correctly!
How do international schools encourage kids to get moving?
- Physical education
PE and sports activities are direct ways in which teachers guide pupils to use their bodies to improve fitness, strength, and coordination. At international schools in Singapore, physical education is regarded highly and linked closely to wellness. So whether your child is interested in basketball, soccer or tennis, there’s bound to be aa sport to keep him moving, healthy and having fun!
- Outdoor learning
While outdoor learning is not focused on the physical aspect, it often requires significant physical movements in the activities it entails. You can often catch IB students exploring the outdoors, perhaps in their latest nature trails, or to find the next idea to improve their play areas.
- Learning through play
It is through physical play that your child can explore the world and experiment on his own! At IB schools in Singapore, time and space are set aside for precious free play. Learning leverages on play to keep your child stimulated and curious.
- Interactive classes
IB students are offered classes that teach beyond the textbooks – teachers may incorporate interactive components. Whether it’s acting or learning a new dance, or simply involving actions in regular lessons, these classes are sure to keep your child moving!
Ideas to encourage movement in the comforts of your home
- DIY bowling
Who says you need to head down to a bowling alley to knock over some pins? Set up your very own bowling activity at home with your child!
When you collect used bottles to be used as bowling pins, you’re also teaching your child the eco-friendly act of reusing. And for the bowling ball, perhaps use the bottle caps or even a plain old rubber band to do the trick.
- Jump rope
We’ve all played this at school and mastered a trick or two in jump rope. Share that with your child at home! Challenge them to try double skips or the scissors move.
And why not also make this a fun family activity? Gather the whole family and create a long piece of rope with spare rubber bands at home. Your child is sure to have fun jumping in and out, while fine-tuning his gross motor skills!
With so much to gain from movement, make sure you and your child’s school see eye to eye on the importance of physical activity for your child. Head over to the IB school websites or open houses to find out more about the schools’ philosophies for play, outdoor learning, and sports activities.