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Exercise, movement and learning...

Exercise is sorely missing in many children’s lives these days, with sports giving way to more sedentary activities such as watching TV or playing on the computer.

Many children may also be too busy with other more important pursuits such as tuition and enrichment classes to be involved in exercise. Lack of exercise is a contributing factor to increased rates of overweight in children worldwide.

Besides being good for the body, exercise is vital to learning. It increases circulation, fertilising neurons with oxygen and nutrients, increases the production of nerve growth factor to enhance brain function and stimulate the production of dopamine a feel good neurotransmitter.

Neurophysiologists recommend exercises that involve the vestibular system that controls balance such as spinning, tumbling and swinging, to benefit learning. 

Brain-based learning theorists strongly recommend that play involving movement and exercise be incorporated into learning. Allow your child to stand and stretch, jump around and not restrict her to her seat all the time.

For example, you could ask her to go around the home pointing to things that represent the colours of the rainbow. You could also encourage your child to exercise during breaks in between learning. This could be a simple 5-10 minute dance to a favourite tune.

 
A child should be nourished
and nurtured from young both mentally and physically to help her develop optimally.

BRAIN-based learning is the informed process of using a group of practical strategies based on sound principles derived from brain research. It aims to help children learn according to how the brain learns best  naturally. 

Clay crafting allow your child to feel that they have a choice and some control over their learning. This will help them feel valued and empowered.

 
Index - Nurturing the thinking child
Your Kids can, if you let them think they can!
The road to change
Echo of Life
Touched by an Angel
Dad, I'm thinking of something
The touch of the master's hands
Give your child the reason to say; Why not?
Peer Pressure by Dr Teoh Hsien-jin
Memory, the cement of learning
A guide to brain-based learning
Exercise, movement and learning
The Defiant child by Dr Teoh Hsien-jin
Stress and Motivation in Learning
Developing Through Play
 
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The definition of exercise with learning also includes simple and small movement. Allowing any type of movement during learning will significantly improve learning as it harnesses the power of a type of memory known as procedural memory. 

Movement can mean clapping, doodling or scribbling. Providing something for your child to manipulate during learning will constitute incorporating movement into learning.
Try this great recipe for play dough. You can make as many types of play dough as you like with an endless combination of smells and colours. Involve your child while making the play dough and if you’ve done the activity Colour My World with her before this, consult her on mixing colours.

She’ll love playing teacher while recalling how to find green from blue and yellow to make green play dough.

 
Junior potter hand made
glazed, painted, coin box.


A simple way would be to use play dough to model into relevant shapes or objects such as the alphabet, parts of the body. That way, your child learns the same things but through manipulation and movement which will strengthen the learning.


This brain-based learning
technique particularly suits children who prefer to use their hands and bodies while learning and not be confined to being still. 

 

 

 

Recipe play dough with a twist! What you’ll need: (Your choice of food colouring and flavouring).

a) ½ cup plain flour b) ¼ cup salt c) ½ cup water
d) 1 tsp cream of tartar e) ½ tbs vegetable oil

What you’ll do: Mix all ingredients into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.

When dough is stiff, turn onto counter and cool for a short while. Knead when dough is not hot but warm to touch.

Store in an air tight container. (The dough will usually lasts for about 4 weeks). Now for the twist: Add uncooked rice or beans such as red beans or green beans before cooking. This will provide lots of texture and tactile stimulation for wiring the brain.

Physical movement is one of the pathways to learning and is necessary for brain development. It stimulates brain function by reorganising and reinforcing positive central and nervous system operation.

It is a borderless approach to learning, crossing and drawing upon multiple disciplines such as chemistry, neurology, psychology, sociology, genetics, physiology and nutrition. This holistic and multidisciplinary approach increases the learning potential of every child.

Reference: Nurturing The Thinking Child A Guide To Brain-Based Learning: Brain Food. Sunday April 23, 2006 Star. Advertorial is courtesy of Dumex (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd 1 Jalan 205, 46050 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

 

The beauty of working with clay is that your kids get a different experience when their fingers are creating something beautiful.

Junior potter hand build, painted, glazed coin box.


 

Echo of Life In all aspects of life like an echo; Life will give you back everything you have given to it.

Your Childs' Life is not a coincidence. It's a reflection of you!

 
 

 

 

 

 

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