We all know kids have got tons of energy to burn off, and recent research all points to the massive brain-boosting benefits of physical activity, but did you know that certain structured physical exercises can actually develop a child’s physical readiness for the classroom?
Ever on the cutting edge of educational research and techniques, those whizzes at Stamford American International School have shared 5 easy strategies that you can use at home to get kiddos moving and primed for learning, all at the same time.
Stamford is the only school in Singapore to offer the SMART Steps physical education program for 2-year-olds. Delivered by physical education specialists, SMART develops fundamental motor skills that are essential for classroom success. Read on for more tips, mama.
At bedtime, close the curtains and lie on the bed together. With a torch, shine the light on the ceiling and move it slowly, asking your child to watch it move. Lying down keeps the head still so only the eye muscles are moving.
Why? This activity helps develop eye fitness – including strength and focus – in preparation for reading.
Activities that get children to reach, catch or hold an object develop hand-eye co-ordination. Our favourite: blow up balloons and get your child to keep them off the ground by hitting them into the air.
Why? Good hand-eye coordination improves the ability to write through neural connections and development.
Collect objects on a trip to the park or to the beach. When you get home, unpack the objects in a specific order, then ask your child to repeat the order back to you.
Why? Increasing your child’s memorisation skills improves short term memory and increases attention and focus.
Walk the line
Find a line in your home and have your child practice walking along it. They can walk backwards, forwards, sideways, heel-toe, fast, or slow. Then get them to show you how to stand on one foot, or two hands and one foot, or on tip-toes.
Why? Balancing helps kids learn to be still, increasing the ability to concentrate in the classroom.
Get your child to lie on his/her tummy and pull him/herself along on a plank (ideally on wheels!).
Why? This exercise is great for developing upper body strength, which helps with control of a pencil when writing.
Stamford students aged 2 to 5 progress through SMART Steps to the Perceptual Motor Program, developing the physical foundations needed to achieve success in the classroom. (Not to mention they get to do it all on the campus’s state-of-the-art athletic facilities, like three swimming pools, two rock climbing walls, and an indoor golf centre!).
Find out even more at Stamford’s next Open House, Friday April 24th, mama!
Stamford American International School
1 Woodleigh Lane (off Upper Serangoon Road), Singapore 357684
Tel: (+65) 6653 2947