Bilateral skills are pivotal in the early years of child development. Crossing the “midline” of your body helps to build pathways in the brain and is an important prerequisite skill required for the appropriate development of various motor and cognitive skills. In physical education, cross-lateral motion is a skill often practiced during warm up activities and throughout the class period.
Recently, Children’s House friends played a game called “Team Hoops.” This game requires the children to safely move their bodies around the gym to the music. When the music stops, they must find a hula hoop to stand in. The children must work together as a team to be able to fit inside the hula hoops. After a few minutes a hula hoop is taken away, leaving the children with fewer and fewer hoops to fit in. This activity encourages peer communication, teamwork, sharing, and also strengthens locomotor movement skills.
The elementary classes recently played indoor hockey in physical education class ! The students learned the rules and history of hockey as well. Hockey is a total body workout, including both aerobic and anaerobic elements to game play. Hockey helps to develop hand-eye coordination. Floor hockey primarily uses and strengthens the following muscles: hamstrings, calves, triceps, forearms, shoulder muscles, and abdominals. The students really enjoyed using the equipment, which was donated by the Pittsburgh Penguins. They especially liked wearing the goalie gear!
Our toddler friends enjoyed using the scooters in Physical Education this week ! Scooters benefit children physically, working muscles in the lower body as well as core strength. Playing with scooters also benefits children socially and cognitively. Students engage in scooter play with other children, and learn to move their bodies safely around obstacles. The children are also able to move independently, and can creatively move their bodies throughout the gymnasium.
Children’s House friends are enjoying parachute games in physical education ! Using their imaginations, the children went on a camping adventure, built a tent, and even popped some popcorn !
The benefits of parachute play include:
- encourages teamwork and cooperation
- strengthens upper torso, biceps, triceps, and grip strength
- reinforces sharing and taking turns
- promotes social interaction and communication
- helps to develop a sense of rhythm
- practices listening skills and following directions