How Physical Activity Prepares Your Baby for School

Parents generally believe that literacy and numeracy exercises are more beneficial for the brain than running, playing and learning on the move. Research proves something contrary to this belief.

Working body’s muscles actually benefitsthe grey matter of the brain. Moreover, specific physical activities can markedly alter its structure in a positive and precise ways. Especially when it comes to infants and children.

Experiential learning such as touch, talk, sight and sound are strengthened through regular interaction and stimulation at home and in quality early learning settings. Studies have also indicated that physical movement enhances an infant’s mental development and well-being. Result? A positive effect on learning and performance, when they are ready to go to a regular school.

Meaningful physical movement contributes to rich learning experiences that last a lifetime. As  Einstein said, “Learning is experience, everything else is just information.” 

Your secret weapon:

Physical activity increases the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. This helps in the creation of new brain cells, which in turn helps improve concentration, memory, thinking and cognitive skills in children.Children become more involved with what they are doing and become more adept at ignoring distractions.

Helps infants relate better:

Exercise is a potent brain tonic.Regular and co-ordinated physical movement in infants and very young children increases the levels of brain protein, generates growth of helpful hormones and expands the brain’s network of blood vessels.

Activity improves balance, coordination and agility in infants and young children. It alsoincreases their ability to learn and retain new things.

Until they reach their third year, your little one will most likely play alongside other infants rather than with them and this stage is vital to help them build up their imagination and social skills.

Positive mood reduces anxiety:

When an infant or young child babbles, gestures, or cries, and parents respond appropriately with eye contact, words, or a hug, neural connections are built and strengthened in the child’s brain.

Experiencing stress plays an important role in ensuring healthy development. However, when negative reactions remain active at abnormally high levels and for extended periods, it create stress that is toxic. 

Exercise releases the feel good “endorphins” which reduce stress, anxiety and stabilises moods. It also boosts self-esteem, independence and positivity.

Connect better:

A child between 0 – 2 is at a stage when the brain goes through of rapid development and growth. In fact, during the first two years of life, the brain displays a remarkable capacity to develop a wide range of skills and abilities. Starts to explore and learn about the world, develop communication skills, behaviours and emotional attachments.

When children meet others of the same age, they create friendships, learn to interact and speak better. Physical activity together gives children an opportunity to bond. Giving them a sense of belonging, decreasingthe feeling of separation, reducingloneliness and improving social skills.

Stimulate creativity:

Fun and gentle activities are suitable from birth with the pace progressing as your baby grows.Any kind of  physical activity stimulates brain activity in a positive way. Engaging in arts, crafts and singing or just plain doodling,sparks creative thinking and enhances imagination.

Bear in mind, a baby will not learn about the true nature of what they are seeing unless they can touch it. They enjoy experiencing all the different textures. As they grow, they will be able to tell how an object feels just by looking at it.

Ensure emotional wellbeing:

Play isn’t just fun, it also about learning. An active and healthy lifestyle from an early age ensures immediate and long-term mental health and well-being.

Learning social skills is one of your baby’s most important developmental processes.In fact, babies are pre-programmed to make social connections. They engage best with their eyes, their cries and then their smiles, giggles and coo’s.

In their first few months, your baby will show preferences for people based on how they feel when they are with them. Lots of cuddles, smiles and eye contact can help build trust and attachment.

Learn to nurture your child’s love for learning and enjoy the precious relationship between you and your baby.By supporting your baby during these formative early months, you will be preparing your baby for life!

About My Gym

My Gym is on a mission to keep new-borns, new parents and little babies engaged, stimulated and active. You are invited to come and interact with other babies, parents and My Gym teachers during the fun sessions. Say hello by emailing www.mygym.sg or call 8248 7702 to reserve a time and day convenient for you and your baby.

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