Parenting Technique 41 – Introduce your child to exercise and sports, and he or she will be smarter for it.
School activities are good for the brain, but motor activities have their own special way of contributing to learning.
While our culture has a way of separating motor development from learning and brain development, in reality the two are inextricably linked. The brain is totally responsible for all movement, and all movements are recorded in the brain.
Practice Makes Perfect!
For gross motor skills, a good example is learning to hit a ball with a bat. The brain directs you through all your movements. Then when you swing, your movements are recorded in your brain. They then influence you for the next time. How wonderful it is to learn movements correctly from the beginning and how difficult it is to change learned patterns.
For fine motor skills, learning to hold a pencil is a good example. How wonderful it is to get it right in the beginning and how difficult it is to break an old pattern.
Encouraging Early Developmental Skills
In keeping with this idea, it is also possible and recommended to encourage early movement. As you know, parents do it quite naturally when they guide their babies in rolling over, sitting up, walking, and more. This encouragement fosters motor coordination.
Here is another way to understand the relationship between activity and learning. The more a child can get around, the more he or she can act on curiosity. The more a child acts on curiosity, the more he or she learns. Mobility skills help a child to learn more, and that is good news!
Child development happens naturally, but showing your love and appreciation for all new movements will mean the world to your little one.