Holding the Ground Up School: The Shake-n-Go Movement
Help Kids Achieve Language Learning Goals in Less Time, Lower Cost
There is a common misconception in childcare that moving is not as important as talking, but when it comes to the promotion of child-centered learning, academic success and a healthy life style, the multi-functional movement and proper posture support a wide variety of teaching tools, behavioral strategies and language development. The move is a foundation for helping children learn.
The traditional model of early childhood education places more emphasis on talking and discussing words than movement, as teachers emphasize sit and stay with the same children (and the same textbook). These models do not create opportunities for movement and movement practice. Many parents are active and incorporate exercise into their children’s lives as activity alternatives to just sitting.
Socioeconomic status is often a key factor in our children’s cognitive development. Children who grow up with less economic support through walking, dancing and other formative early childhood activities frequently are more likely to learn their best language language skills before the age of 5. Two-thirds of children who walk, dance, sing and play learn their language skills before they can speak by age 3.
For example, the ARTZic Attachment Revolution Center is a team of caregivers that have been making movements and learning with children for 12 years. They have watched language development jump from a “zero-sum game” – a fight, or good-won-collaboration, to inclusive and collaborative play with open communication. Early childhood educators who incorporate movement with children’s learning believe that learning doesn’t stop at the preschool level. By learning movement and movement through play, parents, teachers and children are reaching beyond their initial vocabulary to learn more complex interactions and strategies for doing things.
The evolution of movement helps children learn both the verbal and non-verbal areas of the brain. Too often as adults, we take movement as something new, new-agey or fun, but these movements are essential to learning and play. A moving child’s brain is growing exponentially, with trillions of synapses active at any one time. Scientists are learning that when brain chemicals are released with activity, brain growth can be doubled.
As a data-driven organization, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) sends their research to government agencies, organizations and researchers on this topic. Learning specific data provides critical evidence in product development, policy and practice, so we know that we are not just seeing educated people who are fit. Our brain is also a muscle and a moving brain is an active brain.
Taking this view, our pediatricians recommend exercise to all preschool children at 4 to 6 years old, physical education classes to every child at least two days a week after school and dances to middle school students before and after school. It is not only important for children to learn, but we need to have their brains in motion as much as possible to produce that active type of learning and play. We can all take on some “drop in” movements with our children. We just need to be more mindful of this. How about a quick step today to play with your child?