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Moving Experiences that Will Last a Lifetime

by Joye Newman and Carol Kranowitz
January/February 2012
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/moving-experiences-that-will-last-a-lifetime/5020397/

It’s 50 degrees and raining outside. The playground is all mud and puddles. The morning has just begun, and the preschoolers are full of energy. You, like most early childhood educators, want to give your young students a leg up and a head start in reading and other academic endeavors. So, how do you use this time? Do you:

1) Set up your four year olds at the computers to play the latest ‘educational’ video games?
2) Conduct a longer-than-usual Circle Time?
3) Bring out the flashcards and try to entice the kids to call out quick answers?
4) Take your children outside to splash in the puddles?

Would it surprise you to learn that the last option will have the most profound impact on your children’s physical, emotional, academic, and overall success? How can that be?

In options 1, 2, and 3, the children are involved in sedentary activities. Only in the final option are they using their whole bodies to move through a three-dimensional world.  

The years from birth through about age six are the time that the most sensory-motor, perceptual-motor, and visual-motor development occurs. Motor development is sequential, with each skill emerging from a previous one. This is the time for children ...

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