What’s physical literacy?
As we research for preschools and holiday programmes for our kids to attend, we’ve heard of language and numeracy (among others). For every one of the core curriculum, there are foundational courses that lead to more advanced syllabus. Before we learn how to read and write, we learn the alphabets. Before we can even attempt algebra or even multiplication and division, we learn numbers. Similarly, movement also has foundational courses. Before we can serve at tennis, dribble a basketball or even ace at catching, we have to first learn how to walk, run, hop, leap and balance properly.
What that means?
- Stay safe and move effectively
- Build the confidence to acquire more complex movement skills and participate in group sporting activities
- Learn better, especially so with processing information and memory work
There are tons of research out there about how movement supports learning. For starters, exercise grows the size of your brain. A study in 2002 has shown that those who exercise have far more cortical mass than those who don’t (Anderson, Eckburg, & Relucio, 2002). Exercising encourages blood flow to the brain and also feeds it with neurotropins (high-nutrient chemical “packages” that increases the number of connections between neurons). More connections equate to faster reactions, improved balance and sports performance.
The second important reason is that exercise activates the cerebellum. The part of the brain influencing movement and it’s also the same as the part of the brain influencing learning. The cerebellum takes up just one-tenth of the brain by volume, but it contains nearly half of all its neurons (Ivry & Fiez, 2000). Most of these neural connections are outbound and directed to other parts of the brain involved in memory, attention, and spatial perception.
Did you know?
Studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging has demonstrated that we think about our movements before we actually move. This allows us to control them better (Flanagan, Vetter, Johansson, & Wolpert, 2003). This process of thinking then moving suggests that all motor activities are preceded by quick thought processes. Pulling this off activates various connections at all sensory areas. (Source)
That is why moving increases brain development – and it’s the same part of the brain involved in memory, attention, and spatial perception.
How to introduce physical literacy?
The wonderful thing about physical literacy is that they can be easily combined with the teaching of core curriculums. Talk to us about it today.