Tip170: November 2022 – Creative Movement Experiences
Educational Tip for Physical Development
Early childhood is the prime age for learning through movement. This brings
the potential for a sense of well-being in life. It is through movement
that we experience the power of mind and body working together in an
immediate direct way. Movement activities require that children be aware of
others with whom they share space. These experiences allow children to
learn how to take turns, and cooperate. They are then able to develop
social awareness through peer relationships, and group play so that
abstract concepts can become more concrete.
Infants: Creeping and Crawling:
Dr. Hannaford, a neurophysiologist and educator from
Harvard, stated that cross-lateral movements like creeping and crawling,
activate both hemispheres of the brain in a balanced way. They involve both
eyes, ears, hands, and feet, as well as core muscles on both sides of the
body, both hemispheres and all four lobes of the brain are activated. This
means cognitive functioning is heightened and learning becomes easier.
Infants can learn by doing through active involvement with people and
objects. So encourage them to crawl to you or to get a toy.
Toddlers: Shake Body Parts:
Physically active children have greater chances of being healthy for a
lifetime. When basic movement skills are developed at an early age children
are later able to go in different directions and participate in a wide
variety of physical activities. Toddlers can learn the names of their body
parts by moving/shaking their – head/body - hands/feet – knees/elbows –
ears/eyes – nose/mouth. They can move these body parts - fast/slow –
high/low and move them by hopping/jumping.
Preschoolers: ”Simon Sez”:
Three through five-year-olds differ from older children. They need to
practice skills of running, galloping, skipping, balancing, jumping,
throwing, and catching. Preschool children can explore body awareness by
playing games such as “Simon Sez”, but with no losers. They can even touch
a partner’s body parts - hands/feet – elbows/ knees and move in a number of
Movement is an important element for young children. It enhances physical
development and it contributes to the development of a positive self-image,
self-confidence, creativity, and self-expression. Marianne Frostig wrote in Movement Education: Theory and Practice that “movement activities can
help children to adjust physically. It can provide them with successful
experiences. It can permit interrelationships with others in groups and
with a partner.” Movement stimulates the learning process by forming
long-lasting impressions when they are physically experienced.
THE BODY SAYS WHAT THE WORDS CANNOT. (Martha Graham)