To stop or not to stop… that’s the big question facing the parents of children starting reception every September. Should your child continue with their activities after school? The football, ballet or gymnastics that they love?
The answer is YES!
Your child is going to get quite a big shock when they go to school. But not the one us concerned parents are expecting…. Far from being tired, when they start school they will suddenly stop moving for most of the day, and be asked to sit quietly for long stretches.
Here’s the problem… four-year olds aren’t designed to sit quietly. They are still in the developmental stage where their brain is telling them to move, to explore, to experience as much of the world around them as humanly possible. And that is because our little ones learn through moving.
The NHS recommends children aged 5 years and under should get at least three hours of exercise every day, including 60 minutes of vigorous exercise. But when they first start school, they will not get that exercise. And they need it to be better at school!
According to OFSTED, Early Years settings are “not sufficiently physically challenging”, and “the more active a child is, the stronger their body core and the better able they are to do things asked of them at school. If practitioners do not encourage children to do this then they are not setting them up very well for the future.”
That's because if you want your child to be a better sitter, a better listener, and better at concentrating, you need to get them moving. It’s the way to truly good listeners.
And here’s why…
Our vestibular system – our sixth sense – is responsible for helping us to sit still and listen, be alert, and concentrate. And it works in partnership with our seventh sense, proprioception. Now, if your child has a poorly developed vestibular sense and a challenged proprioceptive sense then they’re going to find school hard! They’ll be the child that fidgets, that can’t stop moving, that can’t focus, can’t be still, and doesn’t hear what the teacher is saying. And the child that gets in trouble for all of those things. And no parent wants that for their child.
But when does all that critical development of the vestibular system and proprioception happen? Right now, just when they’re being told to go to school, sit still, and listen. At exactly the stage in their life when they need to get moving! All of that development happens BEFORE the age of SIX!
And guess what, they’re both developed solely through movement. If the vestibular and proprioceptive senses are developed through movement, and all that critical development happens before the age of 6 years, then how on earth can our little ones get what they need from Pre-School and Reception alone?
The Simple Answer -- They Need Movement After School!
Your school-age child needs to get moving for three hours a day and even with the best of intentions our education system just can’t provide them with that opportunity. Only modern, savvy parents that are passionate about their children’s development can.
And not just any movement will do. To optimise their development, children need to take physical risks, regularly try a variety of new physical challenges for the first time, stretch their bodies in new directions, reach new heights, and problem solve.
When we were kids we climbed trees… and we have a responsibility as a savvy generation of parents to find a super fun modern-day equivalent for our increasingly ‘more sedentary than they are designed to be’ children.
And according to Gill Jane, Deputy Director of Early Years at OFSTED, there is a tension between physical activity and taking risks, and as a parent, balancing risk is a hard thing to do. OFSTED would like early years practitioners to challenge children and take such risks in order to make them more physically active.
Helping Your Children to Learn Through Movement and Safe Risks
Giving children this strong platform is exactly where The Little Gym comes into play. We know what three, four and five-year-old children need, and we get them moving and challenged in the right way to aid their development. That’s why teachers, occupational therapists and paediatricians recommend us as an accompaniment to the early years of schooling – they understand what an important role we can play in supporting children’s development and schooling.
And that’s what we all want – parents and teachers alike… to set every child up for success, help them to thrive, and make school as easy an experience for them as possible!
Don’t stop your children’s activities when they go to school. They won’t be too tired. They’ll need the outlet. And they need to keep moving. Penning them into a room for most of the day, stopping them from moving, and then removing the activities they love doesn’t do our beautiful children justice.
And just like us, they need to de-stress after a long day at school! Just like we need to de-stress after a long day at work. Why do you think adult gyms do such a roaring trade in the evening! School has the same effect on our children, let’s help them get that stress out of their system and sleep better at night.
Our Teachers Can Help!
Our teachers are always available to discuss how we can support your three, four or five-year old’s transition into little school or big school, and provide the outlet they need to keep growing and thriving on their exciting journey into the big bright world that awaits them.
Tell us your concerns, and we’ll see how we can help with extra flexibility for school starters. Just grab one of our teachers after class or at the front desk to see how we can help.
This week in the camp we will learn about different jobs that we might taken on as an adult. These include Firefighters, Police officers and paramedics! This camp will be very exciting as we try new skills and use our imagination. So bring your friends to join in the fun!
Join in the adventure this summer with Green beard's pirate ship! We will be using pirate magic to make this camp super fun. Bring your hooks and swords to this amazing camp. The theme will explore swashbuckler's sail to the seashell island, the treasures of barnacles beach plus lots more! So grab your pirate friends and join in! I Wouldn't miss it, Captain!
This week at The Little Gym we are exploring Rainbow castles with a unique theme every day! This week we will look at the colors of the king, meet a prince called Roy, explore the secret garden, meet the queen to finally find the rainbow castle. In every camp, the children are given the opportunity to make and create something within the class related to the class theme.
The camps are a great way for children to develop their social skills and increase their independence.
So Book today!
The children have had a great week by taking part and demonstrating some of the skills and routines that we have put together for their family and friends. They all received some great medals. It's been a pleasure teaching all the little ones, seeing them grow into young gymnasts. Please stay tuned for more photos.
Empathy isn't something babies are born with, rather, it's a uniquely human trait that is developed in the formative early years of a child's life. Understanding, and more importantly, expressing empathy is a result of developing social and emotional skills. Check out these fours ways to encourage and develop empathy in your child.
1. Practice what you preach. Children naturally mimic their caregivers actions. By modelling empathy, showing respect, and interacting with other's in a kind and caring manner, your'e teaching empathy and your child will learn from your example.
2. Teach your child about emotion, which can begin very early in infancy! Talk to your child about their emotions. If they are crying talk to them about why they are sad or frustrated. If they are laughing, playfully ask why they are happy. Practice by mimicking by emotions in the mirror with your child. As you child grows they will be to understand emotions more clearly, continuing to develop social and emotional skills.
3. Show empathy towards your child, when sadness, frustration, and anger occur, it is important for parents to empathise with their children. If your child is upset, talk to them about how they are feeling, and ask them questions to help them understand their emotions.
4. Provide your child with opportunities for practising empathy. Grab a stuffed animal or doll, and role play various situations with your child. For example, "Mr Bear said that his friend won't share with him. How do you think Mr Bear feels?" Talking to your child about the feelings of others (whether real, or in a Mr Bear situation). Will help them understand, analysis, and empathise with the emotions of others in real time situations.
Helping your child to build, and practice empathy will help to develop and strengthen their social and emotional skills that will carry with them throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
Kid - focused activities like The Little Gym can be a great option for real world social skill building for kids.
We have some VIP guests for good Friday and Easter Saturday!!! ???? ???? ???? Come visit us to meet them!!!
We have fun-filled Easter themed camps running on 12th and 13th April from 9.30am to 12.30pm for children between age 3-12 years. As we had Ofsted registration, the camps and after school clubs are both drop off enabled and all our instructors and carers are qualified in safeguarding, the Common Core of Skills and Knowledge for the children's workforce and they have their Level 3 Paediatric First Aid qualifications. Your children are cared for and are in safe hands, giving busy mums and dads piece of mind that their little ones are being cared for and well looked after.
BOOK NOW 075 4163 6665 & firstname.lastname@example.org
When the days are short and cold, it feels like it’s almost impossible to keep your children entertained. While the days can often seem endless during the chilly winter months, you don’t need to pull out your hair to keep your children moving and having fun! Check out these 5 indoor activities to keep your children moving this winter.
1. Set up an Indoor Obstacle Course. Create a fun, unique, and imaginative indoor obstacle course for kids. Grab pillows, blankets, hula-hoops, chairs, and any other household items you can find to create a challenging and fun indoor obstacle course. Motivate children to complete the obstacle course a certain number of times. This equals HOURS of fun! Offer a prize for the most creative finisher.
2. Play Balloon Ball. Items needed: 1 balloon (maybe a backup or two). Fill the balloon with air and try to keep it off the ground for as long as you can. See how long your children can keep the ball in the air without touching the ground or “hot lava.” Keep track and set new records all winter long!
3. Dance dance! Dance Party, Freeze Dance, or any other form of dancing can be turned into game time. The point of these dancing games it to turn up the jams, get moving, and have fun showing off your favorite dance moves and maybe even learning new ones.
4. The Clean-Up Game. Yes, this is a thing. If your kids have been stuck inside all day, your playroom likely looks like disaster struck. Turn on the timer and challenge your kids to clean up the room before the timer goes off.
5. Animal Charades. Step 1: Have your children draw animals on pieces of paper to use for the game. Step 2: Use the pieces of paper and act out the animals as a family. Be sure not to use any sound, only use movement, when acting out your animal!
And if you’re tired from all of the holiday prepping and post-holiday fun, The Little Gym is another great indoor option for busy families during the winter months! Check out our full schedule or visit The Little Gym nearest you today.