Walking past a classroom that is silent and still should set off alarm bells. It is unnatural for children to be sitting still and not making any noise. The best opportunities for learning happen through collaboration, movement and fun – it also helps children to engage and makes learning a choice they want to make instead of a chore.
If a child can move in the classroom, they can activate more areas of their brain – this allows for more connections to be made as they learn and enhances memory retention. The second reason that movement is essential is that when children move, it gets more blood flowing in their body, this means that more oxygen is reaching their brain which impacts memory, motivation and mood.
Children in lower primary have brains that are wired to learn through interactions and movement in the environment (I’ll spare you the science but it’s about cerebellum and vestibular systems). If they are made to sit still and quiet for a long time, their brain starts to switch off as the nerves aren’t getting enough stimulation. As nerves are activated (through communication and movement) children can concentrate and focus more easily whilst being more resilient.
For the best success in school, children should be communicating together, using language to explore and question ideas, they should be dancing, grabbing, holding, skipping, climbing and wriggling. This helps the brain to develop alongside their body – making sure they are fully ready for learning!
As children have fun and enjoy what they are busy with, learning turns into fun and simply changes from a forced task into an enjoyable activity. Laughter and enjoyment are good for our bodies, it is essential for children as it allows them to learn in a way that caters to their brain and bodies’ development.
You will notice more schools incorporating ‘brain breaks’, play and hands-on activities into classrooms as they learn more about the science behind learning and brain development. These schools are giving children the very best opportunities for learning and should be applauded!
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