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Discover the early learning link between the body and the brain and how to guide this connection in young children. In this comprehensive workshop, child development and movement authority Gill Connell and her coauthor Cheryl McCarthy explain the inseparable, learning relationship between the body and the brain while revealing the natural, common sense truths behind why kids do what they do and how kids learn how to learn. Used together, these two books offer a complete theoretical grounding in the early learning link between the body and the brain along with hundreds of hands-on activities.

Foster learning through movement with step-by-step activities for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and primary-age children. In this webinar, the authors of Move, Play, and Learn with Smart Steps show how easy it is to leverage movement as a learning tool, providing proven solutions for the classroom, the playground, and at home for children, birth to 7 years.

Prospective Authors Submission Guidelines. International Rights International Licensing. Then challenge them to try and tap it with their hand. Up the ante by seeing if they can jump and touch the balloon with the top of their head! These paddles are also fun for balancing your balloon. Have your kids try to keep their balloon on the paddle as they navigate through obstacles or run around the house. Not as easy as it sounds! Give your kids some newspaper to scrunch up and throw up at the web. Players with more advanced aim and spelling skills can try and hit all the letters in specific words to make it even tougher, if they miss one of the letters, have them start all over again!

Alternatively, write different point values on each sticky and give your child 10 throws. For each target they hit, mark down the number of points. Instead of aiming up high, your kids will now have to toss an object to land on pieces of paper on the floor. The same rules as above can apply. Bonus points if Mom plays said hungry alligator and chomps after them when they stumble! Crab Walk: Teach your child how to do the crab walk, then see how fast they can scurry across the room. Have races with siblings or yourself!


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If it falls, they have to scramble back to the beginning and start again! Have your child do all the ones that make up their name, or simply pick at random.


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Indoor Croquet: Make your own indoor croquet course using toilet paper rolls or pieces of construction paper via Toddler Approved. You continue in this fashion until the chain sequence is broken usually forgotten! The last one standing is the winner. If the potato is dropped, or if hands touch it, they have to go back to the start and try again. Reach up and stretch to the sky. Do 10 jumping jacks. Run in place. Airplane Landing: Make paper airplanes and throw them.

Language Concepts for Toddlers

The catch? You have to collect it and bring it back to the start line without walking — this could be running, hopping, skipping, twirling, crawling…let them get creative! Target Practice: Set up some targets empty water bottles or paper towel rolls work great and have your kids try and knock them down with Nerf guns or throwing soft objects. The exercise comes in when they have to keep going back and forth between retrieving their objects and the start line. Although we may hunt for things all the time hello keys, wallet, phone! Start the clock and have your kid s start hunting.

Use colored construction paper instead like Simple Play Ideas! Time them so they run! And yes, set that timer! Kids go crazy for this one! Put the tape up high and down low, forcing them to step over and crawl under at various points. The only problem with this one is that once you make it, your kids will constantly be begging you to make another! Once they have the hang of it, have them crawl, hop, or walk backwards through it!

This one is great for preschoolers to work on their spatial awareness and problem solving skills — in addition to getting them up and moving. Have your kids help make the course which is half the fun! We love that obstacle courses are great for kids of all ages to participate in — the younger tots enjoy just being able to complete all the obstacles, while older kids can race against each other or the clock.

Try out these variations for plenty of sweaty fun:.

Toddlers Moving and Learning : A Physical Education Curriculum

So your child can practice their stick skills all over the house without creating any damage! Use any type of ball to bowl, attempting to knock down as many pins as possible. Keep track of the score, or simply aim to knock them all down in one turn. Tape some plastic cups lying on their side to the ground, or create tunnels with pieces of construction paper.

Check out Tea Active and all their latest arrivals here. These ones are our favorites, updated for modern indoor play:. Have your kids step in and hold it up around their waist, then hop to the finish. So simple, but they will be laughing like crazy and getting crazy tired all at once. This is one of our favorites because it not only builds gross motor coordination, but is great for sibling bonding too! Jumping Limbo: Do the Limbo in reverse: instead of going under, have your kids jump over! Do your kids go nutty for this game every single time like ours?

Make your own by taping construction paper circles on the floor. Put some small balls or balloons on top and try and fling them off.

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Kids love this one! Kids simply roll the cube to see what activity they need to perform, and for how long.


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Kids really love these simple yet silly games, and you can easily change them up with new tasks to keep it fresh. Make it active yet silly for best results. Have your kids channel that drama in these exciting activities that will also reduce their restless energy. You can play the judge awarding points for style, creativity and their overall strut. Make your own fort to take cover in between throws.

Bonus points if you read the book first. Dance Party! The last one standing or dancing in this case , wins. As young children move and explore their worlds, they are learning through touch. Early bimanual training correlates with the robustness of the corpus callosum, a part of the brain that facilitates quick communication between the left and right brain hemispheres, Beilock said. This connection between using ones hands and swift communication in the brain may be part of the reason learning to play music is often correlated with math ability. The part of the brain responsible for numerical representation also controls finger motion.

Many children first learn to count on their fingers, a physical manifestation of the connection. Goldin-Meadow did a lot of work around problems of equivalence, which children often struggle to understand. She found that often students gesture in ways that indicate they understand how to solve the problem even if they are simultaneously describing an incorrect solution. She also found that showing two ways of doing a problem with speech had very little effect on learning, but showing two methods when one was in gesture helped learners.

Beilock studies how well students comprehend abstract concepts in high school physics. Many classes focus on listening to lecture, reading a textbook and doing physics problems.

Beilock hypothesized that if students could feel an abstract concept like angular momentum on their bodies, they would both understand and remember it better. She and her colleagues used a rod with two bicycle wheels attached to test their ideas. Students spun the wheels and then tilted the rod in different directions. As they changed the angle, the force they felt changed dramatically.

In her experiment, one set of students got to hold and experience the wheel. Another group just watched the first group and observed the effects they were feeling. They were all quizzed on the material a week later. Researchers at DePaul University have replicated this experiment, strengthening the scientific link between hands-on experimentation and powerful learning.

Just as body movement and involvement can have a huge impact on learning, so too can the spaces where we learn. While neuroscientists are starting to be able to prove this link with their experiments, this concept is nothing new. Philosophers, writers and practitioners of Eastern religions have long made the same connection between the power of nature to relax the mind and readiness to take on the world.

One researcher asked students to take a walk through the downtown of a college town. The other group took a walk in a natural setting.