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Promoting Active Lives For Our Under Fives!

Promoting Active Lives For Our Under Fives!

Getting children moving during their preschool years helps to build strong foundations for learning later in life.

Kindergarten Awareness Week is from 16 – 22 October, and this year the focus for the Auckland Kindergarten Association is Active Movement.

Key skills are developed when children are involved in activities such as climbing, swinging, hanging from bars, running, jumping and rolling. The types of skills that are being developed are balance, hand eye coordination, spatial awareness and social skills (such as confidence, cooperative play and empathy).

Teachers at Takapuna Kindergarten have seen significant changes in the children’s abilities since introducing their Active Movement programme. Teacher Louise Kearney says ‘Since encouraging children to be more physically active, we have noticed that the children have been able to concentrate for longer periods and complete more challenging tasks, their handwriting and drawing skills have improved, and their confidence has also grown in leaps and bounds’.

Over the last year, many Auckland kindergartens have developed strong relationships with their local Regional Sports Trusts through their ongoing involvement in SPARC’s (Sport and Recreation New Zealand) Active Movement initiative for children under five years old.

As a result, children and teachers are getting active for Kindergarten Awareness Week. Harbour Sport, one of the Regional Sports Trusts in Auckland, has organised a Roly Poly-A-Thon for SPARC’s Push Play Month and many kindergartens will be taking part. Over the month, children will roll their way to a goal of 82 roly polys – the equivalent of the height of the Sky Tower!

Harbour Sport’s Active Movement Advisor Sarah Ashmole says ‘It’s great to see kindergartens getting so involved in Active Movement and in the Roly Poly-A-Thon. If we make sure that children are active as preschoolers, their development at school and in later years will be much greater.’

Kindergarten teachers will be facing their own challenge during the week; with an across Auckland goal to reach the target of 10,000 steps per day for the week, for each member of the teaching team. If they’re tracking the children’s roly polys, it should be an easy target to achieve!

For more information on what Active Movement Challenges are happening in your area, please contact the Auckland Kindergarten Association.

Note: the humble roly poly contributes greatly to developing a strong vestibular system (the system that enhances balance, language, vision, concentration and more) and there are many ways to do them. Roly poly head over heels, down and up a hill, or even by keeping your body straight and long and rolling sideways like a pencil!

ENDS

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