Ever had the feeling where sitting down all day left you less energised as compared to heading outdoors and moving about?
Ever woke up after a long nap and felt more tired before you slept?
In fact, your body tends to feel more refreshed and energised when there are adequate movement and outdoor activities. This is because the human body thrives on engagements. Stimulation through movement is important for all, even more so for the development of young children.
Creative movement, dance, and drama are powerful imaginative tools that we use to help children explore, form a positive image of themselves and build healthy self-identities. It also serves as a wonderful way for the little ones to work on their self-awareness and self-esteem while being physically active. The beautiful thing about it is that there is no definite right or wrong when children are engaged in creative movement, dance, and drama. Therefore, it creates a safe environment for children to explore outside of their comfort zones.
Creative movements require bodies, hearts, and minds to work in sync. The movements are to be coordinated with what the child is trying to express while ensuring balance. This process helps to exercise the brain as it works out the complexity of combining both the dexterity and the emotive language of the movements.
Benefits of creative movement:
1. Body awareness. To work on their coordination, body control, balance, stamina, and overall strength.
2. Spatial awareness. To move in their own personal space, be aware of other children’s personal space and respect others as everyone move together in a shared space.
3. Self-confidence. Taking risks in activities, performing for an audience and to trust their ideas and abilities.
4. Concentration. Develop a sustained focus of mind and body.
5. Cooperation and Collaboration. Working in groups, listening and responding, offering suggestions, exploring others’ ideas.
6. Problem-solving. Look at problems in new ways and practice their critical thinking skills.
7. Imagination. Making creative choices, thinking of new ideas, and interpreting familiar materials in new ways.
8. Fun! Learning through play and at the same time improves motivation and reduces stress.
Creative movement is a wonderful way to get active with your child at home. You may feel that you do not have the expertise to do so but have no fear, it is not that difficult! You can add creative movement, drama and dance elements into your everyday routine.
For example, you can get your child to mimic the movement of animals when moving from the living room to the toilet. – “Let’s pretend to be kangaroos. How will a kangaroo move?” “The floor is now filled with thick oozy mud. How can we get across to the other side of the room?”
Here are another 3 activities for you to try at home:
1. Freeze Dance
This is a very popular activity for children of all ages. Play music and have them move around the room however they wish. When the music stops, they freeze right where they are. Once they have accomplished this, have them move like different animals, in different heights and pathways, etc.
2. Dancing with Scarves
Play music of different beat and tempo that might provoke a certain emotion. Give your child some scarves, or even just scraps of fabric. Let them dance to the music. Encourage them to explore the material and use it to dance in as many ways as they can.
3. Pass the ball
Pretend to hold on to a ball of your choice and describe it. Using your imagination, you are going to pass the ball around. Increase the challenge by giving more unique features to your ball. For example, “It is made out of glass. How will we then pass the ball? How is it different from the basketball?”
Simple as that! All you need to do is make sure that you have a large enough space in your living room, play space, or outdoors. So what are you waiting for? Let’s start moving. ☺