What do children like to do most when they are between the ages of 3 and 5? Is it cleaning, doing the laundry, running around, gardening, all of the above?! No matter what your child’s particular choice of activity, it more than likely involves lots of movement and energy!
Children in their early years like to move, and we need to take advantage of that! We can encourage movement through exploring what our bodies can do and the ways we can make them move, we can encourage curiosity by providing different objects or environments for the children to learn from, we can provide repetition of these movements by allowing them to engage in the movements over and over again in different situations, and we can build confidence by allowing the children to be successful in their activities.
This may sound like a lot to achieve at home or during a camp, but it is much easier than you think. For example, throwing and catching a ball with your child encourages movement and provides motivation to repeat the skill as they are engaging with you. If your child struggles to catch the ball, find a bigger ball, such as a beach ball! No better place to discover how a beach ball moves than on the sand at the beach, or in the water, all of which provide a different movement experience than on the grass at home or at the park
Not only that, we can encourage throwing during other tasks, such as socks in to the laundry basket, toys in to the toy bin, bread to the ducks or stones in to the ocean; each activity repeating the same movements, building confidence and adding to a great family experience.
During our Active Explorers camp, we provide the opportunity to be exposed to many different movements in a fun, engaging and explorative way so children begin to engage in activity in different ways. We focus on building these movements at this age because we know children like to move and are confident with whatever movements they make. And the best part of all this, we do this because it is FUN!
~Chris Wright is Physical Literacy Coordinator at PISE and proud father of a beautiful, little girl. He is in charge of all of the fabulous kids programs, summer camps, teacher mentorship and much more.