The National EYFS Conference Part 2
Following on from a previous blog, on my highlights of the National EYFS Conference, I would like to pass on:
Jan White’s 10 Top Tips For Embedding Physical Development as a Prime Area into the Curriculum
1. The Opportunity for Vestibular Activity
Children need to stimulate the sense which constantly monitors the position of the head in relation to gravity (vestibular sense); twisting, sliding, tilting, moving up and down, even hanging upside down! You see this happening naturally as children seem to instinctively know this aids their ability to learn new skills.
2. The Opportunity for Proprioceptive Activity
The proprioceptive sense tells us about our body’s position and the level of effort needed for an activity. This awareness brings self-confidence and is immensely reassuring. Proprioceptive rich activities include those where the body works against a resistance e.g. tug-of war games, press ups, pulling, pushing or lifting objects
3. The Opportunity for Cross – Lateral Activity
Bilateral and cross lateral activities involve using both sides of the body and/ or crossing the body’s midline. Activities such as clapping, crawling, climbing, riding bikes and skipping all promote this co-ordination of the right and left sides of the body and brain.
4. Expressions for Feet
In her blog Jan questions the necessity for shoes at all times as so much information enters the body via the feet. Toddlers and young children need to feel the ground barefoot so they can naturally activate their foot and ankle muscles.
5. Upper Body Work
Taking weight through the shoulders and arms further develops body awareness. These activities also activate and strengthen the larger shoulder girdle muscles which support the arm and hence allow the smaller hand muscles to do fine motor tasks, e.g. writing efficiently and without tiring.
6. Experience for The Hands
The delicate hand muscles are stimulated, right from birth, as the baby spreads their palm on the floor to reach forward with the other hand, crawling further opens up the hand. These are physical, pre-writing opportunities on which literacy skills are based.
7. Get Children More Active!
If ‘we start active we stay active’. Research shows that children need a minimum of 3 hours activity spread across their day.
8. Importance of Sleep
Children do not to get enough sleep to calm and restore. Sleeping outside is especially important. Previous generations understood this, leaving babies and young children to sleep outside in their prams.
9. Training and Communication
We need more awareness of the role physical development and play in learning.
10. The Whole Culture of the “Setting” Needs to Change
A movement rich environment and a movement rich culture is of the essence.
To learn more about Jan see her blog http://janwhitenaturalplay.wordpress.com/.
In my next blog I will show how the Tatty Bumpkin class naturally incorporates these tips. The sessions bringing physical development opportunities into a young child’s day in a fun and motivating way.