February 5, 2018

Why all the Shaking?

 

Our Jnr Gym Kids were off to a shaking great start to 2018 with their Body Awareness theme.

We know movement is vital to healthy growth & development.  As parents, we want our children to be well-adjusted and have the skills needed to be productive. One of the fundamentals to children’s confidence & engaging to their full potential is body awareness.  That is, having a strong sense of where we begin and end to fluently & effectively interact with our world and all its challenges!

We have chatted about Body Awareness and gymnastics before… but why all the wiggling & shaking?

Our goal in our under 5’s Jnr Gym Kids program, is to help kids grow from the brain to bodies and up, down and up again!

Our bodies take in information from the senses – and our brain organizes and integrates the information so our body can respond. One of the big movement senses is proprioception.

 

The receptors in our joints and muscles help tell our brain where our body is in space – our ‘Proprioception’. Applying deep pressure in the joints and muscles, through pulling, pushing, hanging and taking our body weight, all help ‘turn up the proprioceptive volume’ & enhance the information between our body & brain!  Gymnastics is so brilliantly full of these activities!

 

The shakers and music in Jnr Gym Kids bring a sense of fun & rhythm. We use isolation – shaking individual body parts, to bring more pressure to the receptors and further turn up that body awareness volume!

 

Body awareness & spatial awareness go hand in hand!  We sneak in all sorts of learning opportunities (however simple they may seem) at gymnastics.  You’ll see our Jnr Gym Kids hiding their spots at group time with different body parts and jumping their feet forwards, backwards or apart to say boo! Our Choo-Choo trains help us understand how to move our body as a group, in a line and our waiting lines are another example of how we support their body awareness.

 

The rhythmic transfer of weight forward to hands and then back to feet works on coordination & sequencing and builds stronger foundations for all of those handstands and cartwheels in the future. Our pushing hands in bunny hops bring deeper pressure into our shoulders, elbow & wrist joints, which builds upper body strength and control along with body awareness to support those developing fine motor skills.

 

The big one! You’ll see motorbike landings all over the gym from our Jnrs Gym Kids, to the Olympics. Bending knees deeply, taking our body weight and holding those motorbikes again turns up the volume on the information traveling to the brain. The ability to time our landing, yield our knees and ankles and ‘stick’ our landings, builds the confidence our littlies need move on to trying the next challenge & developing their motor skills!

Body awareness needs lots of practice and Jnr Gym Kids is filled with creative ways to build body awareness & learn.  Fun sensory feedback helps deeply wire body & brains, helping it stick.

We love this blog from OT site, The Inspired Tree House, which gives some great information about body awareness proprioceptive.  Check it out here: https://theinspiredtreehouse.com/body-awareness/

Thanks for moving (shaking), learning and growing with us at Delta Jnr Gym Kids!

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