Winter weather finds many parents and children spending more time indoors than usual. Don’t let that keep your child from engaging in big gross motor work. Read below for some expert tips on cold weather play from Ms. Jenny Wyrick, one of our Young Children’s Community guides.
1. Get the right gear.
All over the world, as long as they are properly clothed, children safely head outside in all seasons. Gloves are incredibly difficult for young children so search for toddler mittens. Snow bibs help to keep cold air and snow from sneaking up above the waist and boots allow for lots of time before little toes start to get cold. Shorten the length of time that you spend outside and be sure to keep moving. Jogging, climbing, and shoveling are great. Consider pulling out the gardening tools from summer time. Don’t forget to get yourself the right gear so that you can be comfortable while exploring winter with your child.
2. Set up an indoor obstacle course.
This is one of the most fun things! It can change every day. Use what you have– you don’t even need any fancy equipment. Elements of your course can be as simple as climbing over a chair, scooting under a table, or running around a shoe on the floor. Want some other ideas? How about climbing over a pile of pillows, sliding under a blanket hung between two chairs, jumping over an empty tube of wrapping paper, or carrying a heavy box across a room? Add a timer and the whole game is suddenly even more fun.
Turn on a variety of music and explore how changing tempos and rhythms make our bodies want to move in different ways. Freeze dance is an absolute fave– when the music stops, everyone freezes and laughter abounds! Maybe this is the time for you to join in and finally figure out how to do the floss. Add gymnastics to the beat with jumping jacks, hopping on one foot, push-ups, sit-ups, leg lifts, somersaults, crawling, or even some yoga poses.
Even cleaning the house can include some energetic movements. Give your child a spray bottle, a cloth, or a mop, and show them how to clean the kitchen floor. This is a wonderful way to let your child concentrate, move, and help. Water work always engages children. Remember, this kind of mess is easy to clean with some old towels and the benefits of their efforts are priceless. Contributing to the work of the family increases self-esteem and self-confidence and offers a sense of belonging and value.
Movement is important for your child’s developing body all year long. It will also offer an invaluable opportunity to burn energy even while confined inside during cold weather.
Young Children’s Community Teacher
Check our website next month for another round of tips from our experts!
Here at CMS we educate children for life. We follow the child and guide their social, emotional, and academic development with the goal of raising adaptable individuals who know how to learn and how to be responsible community members. This requires that we offer your child freedoms that do not exist in traditional pre-school, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school programs.
The following freedoms guide the classrooms at CMS. When these freedoms are present, they offer the opportunity to become spontaneously engaged in activity. This spontaneous engagement is absolutely essential to the growth of the child because only here will independence, self-discipline, self-confidence, self-mastery, and responsibility emerge.
1. Freedom of choice of activity: This is the most significant freedom in the classroom. Each child chooses his/her own work at any given moment in time. This freedom allows the child to confirm and follow his/her own interest, which creates a deeper understanding and absorption of the knowledge built into the work.
2. Freedom of movement: Children are able to move about the classroom as they deem necessary to their work. Some may choose to work at a desk or a rug while others may be working in the outside environment. A child may choose to work independently or may find friends to work with or near. Current neuroscience research demonstrates the connection between physical movement and cognition.
3. Freedom to interact socially: Children are free to socialize. This spontaneous interaction, not directed by an adult, is essential to social development.
4. Freedom to work for as long as they choose: This freedom allows the spontaneous engagement in an activity to continue for as long as the child is engaged.
5. Freedom to reflect upon their learning: A child does not require that work be in front of them at all times for learning to take place. Deeper understanding of work frequently happens during reflective periods at the end of a work cycle.
Respect for the other individuals in the classroom and respect for the materials in the environment limit these freedoms with healthy boundaries. Children are guided by “grace and courtesy lessons”, which teach them what respect for the others looks like. As freedoms are given, so are great responsibilities: to demonstrate care for self, others, and the environment.
Come see freedom and responsibility in action in our Primary community: contact our Admissions office to schedule a visit!
As a mother, I have recently discovered Facebook. My kids knew about it long ago and I poo pooed it as another mindless waste of time. Finally, I joined so I could track my kid’s antics like a sneaky James Bond spy. Trouble is – I somehow got hooked myself. Suddenly, friends from far and wide started popping up. People from the dim recesses of my childhood resurfaced. Facebook is like a really good piece of chocolate or a bag of those great salt and vinegar potato chips.
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Students Sound Off: High Schooler Kelly Tan Says The Key To Keeping Kids In School Is Building A Community Of Learning
If you were given the chance, how would you help kids at your school graduate?
Failing high school is not as rare as we can hope. This is a contradiction with the “superpower” image the U.S. hopes to maintain, and contradictions cannot exist. What this means for this country is that it will eventually be phased out by another country, one where education is a priority. A country where a high majority of its high school seniors actually graduate and go on to receive a higher education. These are the people that will make a country great, but they are also the people that we lack. It is clear that if the U.S. wants to continue to be a superpower, it will have to motivate students to succeed.
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Hanging out with the right group of friends is especially important as children transition from elementary to middle school. Click here to read more.