The physical development of a child is an important growth step. Children do not fully develop motor skills naturally, but rather learn and develop them through repeated use. If a child doesn't actively engage in physical activity, he will have less opportunity to absorb these skills as he grows, causing those skills to be underdeveloped. If a child is given a chance to learn while being physically active, both mental and physical skills will develop.
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Often classroom learning occurs primarily through rote memorisation, which does little to develop comprehension of a subject. Physical movement is the most effective method of learning for a child. Movement stimulates cognitive functions and helps the child not only learn the information but also understand it and remember it for later. By getting children moving throughout the learning process, you not only increase their ability to learn but you also assist in developing motor skills. Children with more developed motor skills generally take greater joy in being active and will continue to do so, promoting future physical activity.
Dance is a great way to get children involved in any lesson and develop overall body coordination. When teaching a subject that requires memorisation, such as the alphabet, having a dance that has specific movements associated with each letter will build further mental pathways to that information, stimulating better recall ability. The simple dance movements will also help build physical coordination and body awareness through repetition.
Taking children outdoors to teach a subject is another great way for them to learn while promoting physical development. Even a walk through a garden to teach kids how plants grow or playing with bubbles or balls to demonstrate simple physics is a way to involve movement with learning. Recess time offers another opportunity to promote learning through physical development. Young children especially need to be given breaks to allow information to be digested. A period of unstructured play allows children the freedom to exercise their physical development on their own and results in better concentration and comprehension when they return to the classroom.
Children develop motor skills and body coordination through repetition and exercise. Simply involving movement in lessons in little ways goes a long way to promoting mental and physical development. Use hopscotch to teach math concepts. Have the children demonstrate the effects of adverbs by acting out the verb and then changing it based on the adverb. Any way to demonstrate a concept with a physical component will not only allow children a physical way to comprehend and absorb information but also, through the simple act of moving, promote further physical development.
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