Today we welcomed Trudi from Sport Northland into Kindergarten. Trudi is going to be working alongside both the teachers and children at Mairtown for the rest of this term, and will be introducing ‘Fundamental Movement Skills’ (also known as FMS) to our programme.
One of the aims of Sport Northland is for all of Northlands tamariki to develop a love of sport, recreation and physical activity, leading to lifelong involvement.
So what exactly are Fundamental Movement Skills? They are best described as Basic Movement Building Blocks. These then become the foundations to more specialised complex skills used in games, sports, dance, gymnastics and physical recreation activities.
Although we all know that exercise is beneficial for our physical bodies it also impacts on brain development. “ Exercise and movement enhances attention, memory, focus and the ability to retain what is taught” (Sport Northland).
Our children are already very knowledgeable about the benefits of exercise;
“Exercise keeps you strong and healthy” Aimee
“It helps you grow up up to the sky” Ryan
“Star jumps are exercise” Eve
Over the next few weeks Trudi will introduce us to the four fundamental movement skills. These are locomotor (moving from one location to another), manipulative skills (catching, throwing, kicking and hitting an object), stability skills (balance whilst moving or staying still) and movement and body awareness (an understanding of “what my body is like and how I move with it”).
As teachers we are excited to be working alongside Trudi, but an important aspect for us is that the children have fun, they certainly did today!
Today Trudi worked with balance (stability skills), and had some eager participants. Using the bean bags we tried hard to balance these very carefully on the tops of our heads. With some prompting from Trudi, the children were encouraged to spread their arms our wide, using ‘aeroplane arms’. This simple movement lifts the chin, flattens the head and suddenly makes balancing activities so much more effective.
Where else can we balance the bean bags? Shoulders, knees, feet, arms….
After some great practice we moved onto using the balancing beam. Again we immediately noticed that when we encouraged children to use their ‘aeroplane arms’ their bodies became less scrunched, their heads went up and they were more successful in their task.
"I did it - I did it - I did it" Jessie-May
"Now I'm going to go backwards" Joel