Teachers regularly tell us that three of the most important elements of school readiness are the ability to sit still, pay attention and stay focused. But did you know that being able to balance is critical to developing all three of these abilities?
It might seem a little odd, but the system that governs our internal sense balance also controls our alertness, concentration, stillness, and even our posture.
Ultimately, many parents are surprised when we tell them that balance underpins so many seemingly unrelated aspects of their children’s daily lives. But it is absolutely critical to your children’s physical, intellectual, social and emotional development.
This simple example from child development expert Gill Connell (author of ‘A Moving Child is a Learning Child’) draws a picture of just how important helping your child develop balance is, and how compromised balance negatively impacts our children's opportunity to learn and develop at school and in life.
“Think of trying to do everyday things like eating breakfast, riding a bike, or reading a book while standing on a tightrope. If you were always worried about falling over, how could your brain concentrate on anything else?”
HOW CAN PARENTS HELP?
Children aren’t born with a sense of balance. They need to learn it. And it is our responsibility as their grown-ups to help them with this critical foundation skill.
But how can we parents help! Children need to learn balance through movement, it’s the only way. That’s because balance is governed by something called our vestibular system, a sensory system that detects motion and gravity to create our internal sense of balance.
So, if balance is important, and it controls how well we can concentrate, be alert, and be still, then how can we help our children effectively develop it?
By developing their vestibular system! And, put simply, the vestibular system is developed through movement. Which makes developing it lots of fun!
Ever see a child spinning around in the park? Children seem obsessed with spinning. And hanging upside down. But did you know there’s a very good reason why? They do it because it feels good. And it feels good because it stimulates their vestibular system.
Make spinning, rolling, jumping up and down, and even going upside down a fun part of your play time with your child. Encourage all of this movement not just in their early years – a critical developmental period – but also past six, seven, eight and nine years of age. Keep on developing those critical systems as your children grow, and you’ll be giving them a great platform!
Our classes are designed to develop children’s balance and stimulate their vestibular system in the most fun way possible. That’s why we call our classes Serious Fun – they’re fun with a serious developmental purpose. Because we know children learn best when they are moving and having fun!
LET'S GET KIDS MOVING AND GROWING TOGETHER!
If you’re not a member yet and would like to be part of The Little Gym Godalming’s education revolution at Woodside Road, Chiddingfold, give our teachers a call on 01483 343 000 or email email@example.com. We would love to learn more about your child and discuss how we can help them develop critical physical, cognitive, social and emotional skills that will help them inside and out of the gym!
The times, they’re changing, and it’s becoming even more difficult to keep our kids engaged, happy, and well, out of our hair. I know I’m not alone when I say that I have used my friends: television, computer, and tablet as a distraction for my children when I need 30 minutes of peace.
As parents, we know it’s not always easy, but are kids being exposed to too much technology? According to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children spend an average of 7 hours a day using media including television, computer, internet, video games, and cell phones. In an ever growing media driven world, it’s becoming even more important to make sure your child is getting active every day.
So, how can you encourage your child to get active? Show them that being active is fun! Exercise as a family by going for a nightly walk, jog, or having a family soccer game in the back yard. You can also get your children involved in activities outside of the home like The Little Gym to help them appreciate a healthy and active lifestyle for years to come. Whether you’re running, jumping, or tumbling, get moving with your child to build the foundation for a lifetime of healthy habits!
You know how important it is that your kids eat a healthy dinner every night and we know how hard it is to get your kids to eat the food you want them to eat. If you’re tired of mac & cheese and frozen chicken nuggets, here’s a list of our top five healthy dinners that the whole family will enjoy.
It starts with a sniffle – next thing you know, the whole household is sneezing, coughing, and passing tissues. If you’re feeling confused about how to treat colds and the flu, you’re not alone. Separate the facts from the fiction and check out the top 3 cold and flu related myths.
Myth #1: The flu vaccine causes the flu: Getting a flu shot may cause symptoms that feel like the flu, but the viruses contained in the flu shots have been killed, or “inactivated.” which means they can’t cause infection. While there may be some achy side effects that can sometimes follow the flu shot, it just means your immune system is responding and processing the vaccine.
Myth #2: You’re more likely to get sick if you’re cold: Despite mom’s warnings that you should bundle up, being cold does not cause a cold. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, infections prevail in winter months because they are spread when more people stay indoors for longer periods of time and are in closer contact with each other.
Myth #3: Hugging and kissing are great ways to spread cold and flu germs: Cold and flu viruses like to enter the body through the nose or eyes, so a hug or a peck on the cheek isn’t likely to be dangerous. Don’t be afraid to give your sick child plenty of affection, and don’t worry that a kiss or hug will spread your germs to him (or vice-versa).
Many parents recognize The Little Gym as a safe and clean place in which to bring their children. We work hard to ensure each and every visit lives up to your expectations. Daily and weekly cleaning and sanitation helps keep our environment sparkly and keeps the germs away. And if your child is feeling a little under the weather, our generous make-up policy allows you to attend a make-up class by simply calling us prior to the absence.