If you ask children if they would rather sit at the table and do homework for 30 minutes, or if they would rather exercise, most would choose the second option. How great is it that we can combine learning and exercise! This blog will give you tips on how children (and adults too actually) learn better by combining learning with exercise.
Scientific research has shown that learning whilst exercising can have a positive effect on focusing on the task at hand and school performance. This is especially true for spelling and math skills. Exercise has an effect on how well the connections are made in the brain. Children’s energy levels can thus have a direct impact on their brain development and probably its further development. This is still a much researched topic within the fields of sport and education.
Aside from encouraging development, it also helps to maintain a healthy weight. Exercise gives everyone, including children, new energy and more fun; also more energy and fun when learning. You can use exercise as a strategy to get your child to learn. You can then grow up whilst having fun together!
The emphasis on child development is achieved by means of play and exercise. We want to give children a warm, safe and inviting place that they gladly come to. We really want to give them the feeling of coming home. We want children to feel free at daycare. A child’s development is always evolving, which is why we try as much as possible to let children experience things for themselves and ask them many in-depth questions. We also try to combine exercise with learning on a daily basis.
It is possible to combine exercise with the material that must be learned. It works best if it is coupled to a sport or type of exercise that a child prefers. For example: allow children to jog in place when doing math exercises, and to jump in the air when giving their answer. So if you ask “what is 2x3?”, a child jumps up six times. With language, you can ask a child to spell a word and jump up in the air when saying each letter. Does your child really like to play football? Let him shoot the ball when spelling a word. Examples? Community sport coach Femke can show you how you can do this with your children in this video.
By combining exercise with learning components, what is learned is better retained. Exercise games always support motor skills, but you can also add a cognitive component to the exercise to enhance cognitive development.
You can make a hopscotch figure with math exercises, or a “true of false” race with questions about geography, biology, history or funny facts and riddles.
For younger children you can think of games with colored hoops, children can run outside to look for objects with the same color as the hoop and place them within the hoop, or throw balls in the correctly colored laundry basket. You can also play hide and seek using animal sounds. Or think of the “may I cross the street” game, but then with animals!
For more suggestions and examples of how you can combine learning with exercise, you can visit the Hilversum community sport coaches Instagram or Facebook pages. They will both be posting fun tips for exercise and learning as of the sixth of April. We also have many fun activities to try on our BinkTube.
The links are in Dutch.