Activities like this one, testing balance and agility, are part of the WeeMove program featured at BrightPath Early Learning and Child Care centres. Photo by Ryan Bolton

Moving and grooving: Physical activity a big part of your child’s early learning and development

Maple Ridge child care centres use natural play environments, music to enhance kids’ development

As a parent, you’re aware that not all young minds develop at the same rate. But one thing most young children do have in common is their love of play.

And evidence has emerged in recent years about the importance and benefits of incorporating the outdoors in your child’s play time. Samaya Khattak, director of programming with BrightPath Early Learning and Child Care, notes that immune responses develop differently when a child is exposed to a natural environment.

“Being in a environment where you have things like sand pits and mulch allows for open play and allows creativity to occur,” she says. “It builds a lifelong connection to nature, whilst developing their physical motor skills through adventurous play.”

Natural play spaces enhance your child’s physical literacy

Experimenting with balancing on a log or stump, for example, or testing the limits of their physical strength and agility is part of the early learning experience for your child, Samaya says.

“There’s a difference between being physically active and being physically literate,” she explains. “It’s about understanding how your body responds to certain things, knowing your limits – it’s being aware of your physical abilities and what you can do.”

The importance of physical literacy is what led BrightPath to develop Wee Move for children in the preschool age group. The program, which incorporates intentional physical movement into the daily activities, is set to music and takes place outdoors when weather permits.

Learning and physical fun go hand in hand

BrightPath’s intercurricular program, included as part of its regular curriculum, offers other ways to get your child moving and expose them to a variety of activities. Here’s some other ways they can learn:

  • The magic of music Using age-appropriate instruction based on developmental and music therapy research, BrightPath gives your child a chance to learn important social and communication skills, as well as learning the basic physical co-ordination needed to play instruments.
  • Stretching their muscles and minds The Body Movement class also incorporates music, and children are encouraged to express themselves dramatically. The use of yoga gets them used to challenging their bodies as a way to become more co-ordinated and flexible.
  • Diversification boosts imagination Being engaged in a variety of activities gives your child the opportunity to expand their creativity and imagination and explore them physically. Activities change frequently and are designed to mirror the interests of your child while establishing a love of arts and fitness.

Check out your options in Maple Ridge

Educators at BrightPath Maple Ridge and BrightPath Maple Ridge West utilize the physical literacy philosophy. The BrightPath Meadow Ridge centre, currently under construction and scheduled to to open later this summer, will have an expanded outdoor activity area. Registrations are now being taken.

Call or drop by either BrightPath centre to find more information or book a tour. You can also follow BrightPath on Facebook.

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