Weekly Focus: Move to Learn

What is “Moving to Learn?”

Learning isn’t all in our heads! Movement activates the neural wiring throughout the body, making the child’s body an instrument of learning. Modern life can make this hard.

For babies it can be hard to move because of the use of car seats, bouncy seats, jolly jumpers, prop up seats and baby carriers. For toddlers it’s the TV, computers, video games, an increased concern about safety, less time available to spend with parents and more stressed lives that affects the opportunities to move.

Active movement in the water includes:
Breathing Exercises
Managing Aquatic Forces
Water Safety

Active movement in the water develops:
The Brain
The Eyes
Speech & Language
Bones & Muscles
Body Awareness
Social Awareness
Confidence & Self Esteem

New Vocabulary
• Tummy Time: allows babies to develop head control and upper body strength needed topush up and eventually crawl.
• Crawling: is the first time a baby uses opposite arm, opposite leg movement that is so important for brain development. When cross patterning, pathways between the two sides of the brain develop; the more pathways, the more efficient the processing.
• Throwing, Catching, Reaching and Kicking: develops the hand/eye coordination ability of the vision system to coordinate the info received through eyes to control, guide and direct hands in a task.
• Vestibular System: maintains body position and balance, supports language, vision, muscular development, and concentration. Controls our sense of movement and is the first sensory system to develop by 6 months after conception. It influences everything we do. The sense organs for it are located in the inner ear.
• Jumping: with two feet leaving the ground at the same time. A milestone that is possible from 18 months on.
• Touch: is the strongest sense available to babies at birth.
• Music, Songs & Movement: are important for developing coordination and memory. Music is fun and helps open up the pathways to allow learning to occur. Repetition of songs and nursery rhymes helps children develop an inner sense of timing, language development, sequencing and order.

Homework & Activities

WaterBabies 1 (4-10 months & 10-18 months) & WaterBabies 2
• Water massage: Skin to skin contact, Tactile Stimulation, Bonding,
• Tummy time, rolling and/or crawling on mat: Hand-Eye Coordination, Core Strength, Balance
• Spinning on kick boards: Vestibular Stimulation
• Mesh boats with musical instruments: Coordination and Memory

WaterBabies 1 (18-36 months), Waterbabies 2, 3 & 4
• Throw and catch: Hand-Eye Coordination
• Sitting or Standing on Kick Boards: Balance, Core Strength
• Hokey Pokey: Following Instructions, Body Image and Awareness
• Run, Roll or Somersault: Vestibular Stimulation, Balance, Core Strength and Body Image
• Musical Instruments: Coordination and Memory

Practice these activities at home! Sing a song while washing hands, practice tumbling, the wheel barrow or army crawl to the table for dinner! Have fun with it, get creative!