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June 28, 2024

The Surprising Power of Play to Get Kids Moving and Brains Booming

Have you ever noticed how kids seem to learn best when they’re moving? There’s a reason for it! Research shows that movement and play are not just fun breaks – they’re essential ingredients for healthy child development.

As educators (and parents and families!), understanding the science behind movement and play can revolutionize how we approach learning. That’s where the amazing resources at lookwhatikandu come in! The website, created by movement and play experts Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy, is a treasure trove of information and activities that will transform your classroom (and home!) into dynamic learning environments.

What is the Kinetic Scope?

The Kinetic Scope is a visual tool on the lookwhatikandu site that breaks down six key movement skills:

  • Intuition: Our gut feelings about movement and space
  • Power: Strength and force in our movements
  • Coordination: Linking different body parts together smoothly
  • Control: Mastering our movements and stopping when we need to
  • Senses: Using our vision, hearing, touch, etc. to navigate our bodies
  • Balance: Maintaining our center of gravity
Image Source: lookwhatikandu.

These skills aren’t just for athletes – they’re the foundation for everything kids do, from writing to reading to socializing. When kids master these skills through play, they’re building the brain connections that will help them succeed in academics and life.

Here is one activity teachers can lead to build kids’ balance: 

Classroom Activity: Obstacle Course Extravaganza:

(Balance: Kinetic Scope Skill)

  1. Create a simple obstacle course with pillows to crawl over, chairs to crawl under, lines of tape to walk on, and hula hoops to jump through.
  2. Let the Games Begin: Encourage kids to navigate the course in creative ways, like hopping on one foot, walking backwards, or even crab walking.
  3. Watch and Learn: Observe how children use their balance, coordination, and spatial awareness to conquer the challenges.

This activity not only strengthens balance but also boosts problem-solving skills and confidence as kids overcome obstacles!

Want to Learn More?

If you’re intrigued by the idea of integrating movement and play into your teaching, we highly recommend exploring the lookwhatikandu website. It’s packed with research-based information, practical tips, and fun activities for all ages.

And, if you like lookwhatikandu, you’ll love course 5853: A Moving Body, A Thinking Brain. Recently updated to include information from lookwhatikandu, this course offers research-based real-life examples, action-filled ideas, and best practices all designed to help students learn and grow to their full potential.

About the Author

Susanne Leslie is a Professional Learning Specialist at Teaching Channel. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and a Master’s in Education. As a parent educator, Susanne’s specialty is Culture and Early Childhood instruction. In her current role, she writes courses and content, focusing on our Hybrid Blended Learning courses

Fun Fact: Susanne has jumped out of two (perfectly good) airplanes!


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