What does it feel like to slither like a snake?
Kinesthetic learning is a great way to find out! This application of learning involves use of whole body movement. The ‘learning’ aspect aside, we know that physical activity is a crucial part to being physically healthy, and has also recently received a great deal of attention for it’s mental health benefits. This makes physical movement a WIN, WIN ; A WIN in the areas of Education, Physical Fitness & Mental Health. As adults, this makes sense to us and can be clearly defined reasons and motivation to move our bodies. For young children… probably not very motivating, as these concepts are not yet fully understood. So this poses the question, and then the challenge… how do we motivate children to move?
As an educator, leader, or health care provider, getting a child to engage in kinesthetic (whole body) movement for education purposes, physical fitness, mobility, rehabilitation, performance, or mental health benefits, is not always simple, nor is it easy. While some children fully embrace learning through physical activity, others are not as comfortable, and some refuse altogether.
Over the last 17 years, I have developed a repertoire of strategies ; techniques that I have found to be useful to help children find their own intrinsic motivation to move their bodies. Some techniques are research-driven. Some align with Ontario’s Pedagogy for Early Years Education by implementing inquiry and provocations. Some are simply my own ‘trial error’ from my experience as a children’s fitness provider, soccer coach and mother of three ☺. One of my favourite techniques, is using things that can be discovered in a child’s NATURAL WORLD. By increasing a child’s connection to nature, we can find real-life inspiration, spark curiosity and encourage positive relationships with the world that exists around them. The following songs provide effective tools to encourage both adults and children to learn literally what it feels like to slither like a snake… and move like so many other earth creatures!
*If I were a Frog – MUSIGO KIDS
*Going to the Zoo – MUSIGO KIDS
*Big Brown Bear – KIRA WILEY
*Can You Imagine – SUZIE SHELTON