The world is re-awakening to the importance of physical activity, but childcare centers have always aimed to keep our children moving. Here at Aurora Early Education we design our curriculum to include elements of physical activity each day in a fun and exciting way at the Rowville kindergarten.
Exercise benefits children in the same ways it benefits adults. As well as increasing flexibility, balance, coordination and motor skills, it stimulates the release of endorphins, otherwise known as the ‘happy hormones’. Children who engage in regular physical activity show improvement in both cognitive and, when it comes to team sports and activities, social development.
We at Aurora work to create programs which combine physical activities with play, making them the highlight of many of our learners’ days. Our outdoor space encourages active play; when outside, many of our learners can be seen delightedly sliding down the slide or clambering up the miniature ladder. The children especially love to bound and bounce on the trampoline, under supervision.
We also have play-based sports sessions with Evolv Sports where we use hula- hoops and miniature parachutes to fire up our learners’ imaginations and pretend we are ‘feeding dinosaurs’, making waves, galloping like horses and jumping like kangaroos. These activities help improve gross motor skills and also strengthen our learners’ muscles. Egg and spoon races and ball games teach our learners to work in pairs and teams towards a common goal.
As well as physical activity, it’s important for children to stretch, relax their muscles and wind down. Our yoga sessions allow them to do just that; we begin with an uplifting song, learn poses that improve flexibility and end with a few minutes of relaxation and mindfulness, an exercise which helps learners pay closer attention to themselves, their feelings and their surroundings.
As our learners grow older, we’re sure they’ll carry their positive experiences with physical activity forward and continue participating in sports, dance and yoga. Even at home, exercise can be a great bonding experience; why not put on Madagascar’s ‘I Like To Move It Move It’ and bust a move with your child? Or, ask them to show you a yoga pose or two – they’ll be thrilled to play the teacher and you may just learn something new!