By LINDA THORBERG and BRANT LUTSKA – FLIPPING EDUCATION
Have you heard the question, at preschool gymnastics “Are they just playing in there?” It’s our job to help parents understand the importance of teaching children the way they learn best, through play.
In order to teach gymnastics skills to young children they must first be able to do fundamental movement skills and be comfortable with their body in space. When they know how to put their bodies into shapes and can move in different positions, we can teach basic gymnastics skills. The plus side of gymnastics programs is that when children are allowed to physically move to learn concepts they are also learning skills that help them read, write, and understand the meaning of words and sequences. Here are just a few examples of things we can do in class and reasons to share with parents.
Movement concepts when acted out physically such as; over under, around, through, beside, and near, help children understand the words through active involvement.
When children create shapes with their bodies to make letters, they are reinforcing letter identification for reading.
Clapping or making a movement rhythm (stomp, jump, slide, etc.) to a word or song helps children with the rhythm of reading.
Using action words in class, (jump, quick, slow) helps them understand the meaning of words with their bodies and their minds.
When children combine two or three skills together, they have to remember what comes next. This is like linking words together to make a sentence.
When children are learning by doing, they are more likely to retain what they have done.
Help parents realize that coming to gymnastics class helps children learn with their bodies and their minds for “Life Skills” beyond the gym!