It’s perhaps fitting then that we look this month at the importance of physical play in children’s development. The body is fundamental to the shaping and development of the brain, therefore it is central to the physical development aspect of the curriculum. Some experts believe that this is particularly important in the under 3s. Before they can crawl and sit independently babies need to spend time lying flat with their arms and legs free to move. This helps develop core strength muscles, bones and joints, and opens up self-initiated movement.
Children therefore need space and freedom to move without being ‘contained’ and without adult intervention. Being strapped into buggies, harnessed and in car seats or bouncers for long periods of time can actually inhibit this free movement.
Everything children do includes movement and everything they do physically has a reason; hanging upside down, spinning round or jumping all helps develop the vestibular system and sense of balance, which ultimately will help them sit still and concentrate.
So, as we think about the need to kick-start our own health regime in 2016, let’s extend it to the whole family. Let’s all get moving and embrace the power and benefit of movement.