Let's Get Physical!
As an occupational therapist, I endeavor each day is to address the whole person in each child. This includes engaging the whole body during every treatment session. I believe that engaging the whole body in fun physical play helps a child organize not only their body but their minds and emotions.
Whether it is for gross or fine motor coordination, sensory stimulation, emotional regulation, or just plain fun play involving the whole body can achieve it. Being physically engaged can activate all the body parts, all the senses, and just be overall FUN. And often, if it is more fun, we pay better attention for longer and end up with better morale during challenging tasks. Let's take one of the most dreaded tasks for example, handwriting. It doesn't need to be only the torturous sit down, pencil and paper task. We can also write the alphabet with our bodies. Remember how much fun it is to dance the YMCA?
Did you know the part of the brain involved with movement and coordination is the same part of the brain involved in memory, spatial perception, and attention? It just makes sense that physical activity and learning go hand in hand!
So, lets get physically creative to improve not only our motor skills but also our attention, awareness of self, memory, and learning.
Need help with ideas? Here are some ways to engage the whole body:
♦ exercise ♦ stretch ♦ dance ♦ make the alphabet with your body
♦ jumping jacks ♦ ride a bike or scooter ♦ swim ♦ walk a dog ♦ go to the playground
It is practically spring outside so we may as well use it! And while you're at it, talk about it. The Hokey Pokey was invented for a reason. But be sure to keep it light and interactive. And get MOVING!
Here's a fun Hokey Pokey video on YouTube to get your kids (and the whole family) MOVING and having fun!