“From early on, movement is associated with better cognitive outcome, and gross motor activity has an impact on learning as well as fine motor function,” says Nicole Hilburn, Peadiatric Physiotherapist and Clamber Club Expert. But what are the benefits and how can we as parents ensure our children receive the gross motor stimulation they require during the Covid-19 pandemic?
What are the benefits of movement and gross motor activity?
1. Physical development
Movement and physical activity help a child learn about himself, explore the world around him, and coordinate movement. Gross motor exercises help your child to be physically active, move freely and easily in his environment, and to play, climb, run, jump etc. All this movement builds muscle strength, bone strength as well as fine motor skills needed for manipulating objects, oral control and visual control.
2. Sensory and Cognitive development
Movement and physical activity help develop intellect by using movement to solve problems in the environment, e.g. figuring out how to reach an object, or negotiate obstacles. It gives the child a sense of his body, and how he moves through space, providing lots of opportunity for developing perceptual and spatial skills.
3. Social and Emotional development
Movement allows us to connect with others, and develops a sense of `team’ and cooperation. It also helps build a child’s self-confidence as he gains competence in activities, movements and tasks.
Liz Senior Occupational Therapist and founder of Clamber Club, “Gross motor activity also develops perceptual skills such as body awareness, bilateral integration, spatial awareness, laterality, directionality and so much more. This forms the foundation for later academic learning and formal sporting”
What ways can babies, toddlers and children engage in physical activity during this pandemic?
During the first 6 months gross motor or physical activity in babies is time spent on the floor, in different positions allowing the baby to kick and move against gravity on his back and tummy, leading to sitting, crawling and walking. During this challenging time for parents, especially for those that are wearing multiple hats (teacher, mom/dad, employee, chef etc) it is important for parents to take time out for physical play with baby. Our Clamber Club franchisees have you covered. A number of our franchisees run informative online classes for you to do at home with your baby.
Contact us on email@example.com to find a class in your area
You can also download our Stimulate Your Baby DVDs for 0-12 month olds. These you can purchase online for useful ideas and tips on how to stimulate your baby in all areas of development while at home.
Toddlers should be given as much time as possible to explore their environments, and to MOVE. Active learning is enhanced when toddlers gain greater awareness of how their bodies move. During this pandemic with many parents working from home, children are stuck indoors more and more. Our Clamber Club Toddler franchisees have now opened their doors for gross motor sessions to ensure that your tots can explore, exercise and grow in a safe environment. All Covid-19 procedures have been implemented into our businesses.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to find an online class or gross motor play sessions for 1-4 year olds in your area
Pre-schoolers have had a few years of learning to move and coordinate their bodies in many different ways. They now have hundreds of patterns of movement available to them in different combinations, allowing for more exploration of the environment, and of their bodies. Young children need at least an hour of vigorous physical activity per day. So how are you able to ensure your child still receives the physical activity he/she needs during this time especially if you have decided to home-school? Our Clamber Club Sports franchisees have now branched out and are able to run gross motor sports classes at your home for 2-6 year olds. Our franchisees bring their sanitized equipment through to your home or a neutral venue and run a sports class for your children.
Contact us on email@example.com to book a franchisee for you gross motor play session.
Let your child move and experience the joy of movement. Allowing your child to be physically active enables them to learn about themselves, the world around them, and develop so many critically important skills.