We often hear messages in the media that children aren’t getting enough physical activity. But what exactly does “being physically active” mean when you are an infant, toddler or pre-schooler? And is it important for their health now and in the future?
When we talk about physical activity for young children we don’t mean going to the gym. These ideas of physical activity aimed at adults, are not suitable for young children. They are still learning to inhabit their bodies. For young children, physical activity is about active play and exploring their environment. They are learning how to manoeuvre themselves physically and how to orient themselves in space.
Physical activity is essential for a child’s development. Catrobatkidz exposes children to movement patterns required for physical development, giving them a good start in life. Movement and exercise from a young age have various benefits which reach far beyond only physical development. It is during early childhood that children are more willing to try new activities. Physical activity promotes healthy growth and development. It helps build a healthier body composition, stronger bones and muscles. It also improves the child’s cardiovascular fitness. Children benefit physically, mentally, socially and emotionally by taking part in Catrobatkidz.
Catrobatkidz is researched and developed for children ages 2 -9. It is during these fundamental years that window periods open and close during which children have the opportunity to develop each skill (balance, locomotion, gross & fine motor, spatial relationships, co-ordination, rhythm & timing, strength and flexibility) to the best of their ability, in order to build a solid foundation that will allow them to achieve both physically and mentally throughout their life.
Children, and most adults, learn best through ‘doing’. How often have you begun to show your child how to perform a new task or skill, and you are barely halfway through when he or she begs, “Let me try.”
A growing child constantly tests his or her physical abilities and takes delight in progress: “Look how far I can stretch”, “Look how high I can jump”, and “Look how fast I can run”
Catrobatkidz provides a safe, positive, fun-filled forum for children to develop their physical skills and abilities. Because all movement requires exercise and integration of the brain, mental skills and abilities are exercised and developed in direct proportion to physical activity. Maximum learning capacity is achieved when the left and right sides of the brain are working together, or integrated. Specific movements and exercises involving balance and co-ordination, crossing the mid-line of the body and combining the senses (sight, sound and touch) are the core elements of Catrobatkidz lesson plans.
Catrobatkidz structured lesson plans incorporating music, mini gymnastics equipment and hand apparatus, teaches movement patterns that allow children to connect concepts to actions which is essential to accomplish a goal, and to learn through trial and error. We not only help children increase physical strength, but also increase memory, perception, language, attention, emotion, self-discipline and decision making. Movement is necessary for children to meet their developmental milestones.
Reading and Writing skills require brain integration and physical co-ordination. Children will discover new ways to move and exercise each week in Catrobatkidz class. “Can you touch your wrist to your ear and hop on your right foot?” In that exercise alone children are reinforcing knowledge of body parts, of left and right, practicing balance and following a sequence of verbal information. Imagine the benefits of a full half hour devoted to movement!
Rhythm plays an important part in reading skills – each week the lesson also includes creative movement to music.
Controlling his or her body and movement is a wonderful way to develop a child’s self-discipline and self-confidence. Basic gymnastics positions, stretches and routines are also taught and practiced throughout the year.
Development of eye-hand and eye-foot co-ordination will ensure children are ready to participate in any sport of their choice in Primary School.
Any of you who exercise regularly know the benefits associated with it – good physical health, stress release and a general feeling of well-being and a good self-image. Exercising can also put you in a better mood. When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals that make you feel happier. It’s just another reason why exercise is a good idea! Physical activity should be integrated into young children’s lives to create a foundation of movement and activity which will be carried with them throughout the rest of their lives. At Catrobatkidz we aim to develop a love for physical exercise and a healthy lifestyle in each child who participates in the program.
Catrobatkidz, giving your child the power of movement, giving your child a leg up in tomorrow’s world.