- After struggling to gain consistency with the exercises Andrea made up this cute sticker chart for Lindon. As you can see he is super excited to get it happening! And the sweet reward?
A mummy son date at the end – perfect! It is little things like these that positively motivate children to do things they may not want to do.
Ways to help your Preschooler
Preschoolers love to play. Make everything into a game. Whether is it clean up time, quiet time or listening time, games and playing is the best way to communicate with your preschooler. Allow them to feel the joy and excitement of life through playing.
This cannot be said enough. Children need to move. All the time, but preschoolers need it the most. This is the age where we begin to be more concerned with how children are writing, reading and learning, however we forget that for children to do these things they need to move. All information is processed by the brain through the senses, and all the senses move to process information. Therefore movement is essential for all learning.
Dance is an awesome way to get our preschoolers challenging their physical capabilities. Incorporate times of fast and slow movement to differing beats. Let me become in tuned to rhythm and help them to move in time to music. Simple games like stuck in the mud offer fun and challenging movement times with the requirement of bodily control. Dance is a great way to increase social interactions as well.
Singing songs and rhymes such as ABC, twinkle twinkle, and 1 2 buckle my shoe, allows preschoolers to learn ‘content’ while stimulating both auditory frequencies and vocabulary. Children won’t even know that they are ‘learning’ because they enjoy the process of singing so much. It also helps children become aware of the volume of their voice and exercise self-control over it.
Though our preschoolers can’t pick up a book and read to themselves the process of being read to is paramount for preschoolers. This is a great activity if you are needing to calm excited children for a while, and want to develop language centres in the brain. By reading to your child you are increasing the strong bond between you, giving an opportunity for physical closeness and teaching them about words and language. There is no loss when you read to your child and like movement you can never do it too much. This will also help support children who are struggling with speech issues.
Balance is the foundation of all learning and while we start to develop it in the womb under 5’s need continual exposure to and development of their balance. Balance is developed through the stimulation of the vestibular system which is located in the ears. Therefore any movement, but specific movement of the head on different planes is needed for the fine-tuning of balance. Also, narrowing the balance base of the feet such as in walking on planks and beams helps to enhance their balance abilities. Balance is also essential for reading because the eyes need a stable image to be able to communicate to the brain the correct information.
A strong and positive attachment for preschools is still very important. Though they are getting older and like to explore the world there is nothing more fulfilling than cuddling up to a preschooler and feeling them relax into the security of a strong relationship. Preschoolers need this as they will respond to the healthy boundaries set by their attachment figure, and come to understand that the world is a safe place.
Top 5 Neurodevelopmental Tips for children
- Activate the vestibular
Always spin rock, sway and rotate your child so that their head is moving through space and their vestibular is activated. This sends the signals to the brain to wake up, be alert and be focused on posture and other incoming information.
Apart from vestibular stimulation all children should move no matter what their age. As much as possible help children put information to movement patterns, tapping or dance. This allows several parts of the brain to be activated and increases the chance that the child will remember and understand the needed information.
- Use music
Much to the horror of many teachers – many children do learn better with music. Baroque and some classical music has been shown to increasing learning as it enhances the needed brain waves for focused attention and learning. Ensure that it doesn’t become a distraction by changing the music constantly, or in having too many words in the music that compete with the learning that is being done.
- Use Parkinson’s Law
It has been shown that short bursts of focused and deliberate work with small breaks in between enhance productivity much more than long periods of work. Parkinson’s Law states that work will expand to fill the time allotted for it. For example a piece of writing will take either 30 or 45 minutes depending on the time given to it. Therefore by using smaller chunks of time with brain breaks in between the productivity and enjoyment of the task increases.
It doesn’t matter how old the child is, when they are in a physical position where acute balance is necessary, the brain sends and receives many more neurons that if it is still. To challenge balance use balance boards and beams, wobble boards and other moveable equipment for both play and in the classroom. Some children need to be moving in order for their brains process information – so let them move.