So, in this cold weather how can we all stay warm? By moving of course!
I really dislike wearing a coat, hat, gloves, scarf, etc. I can't feel my body and usually feel like a walking closet. Here is a fun activity to keep your little ones warm while they get dressed, and will encourage body awareness when all are body parts are covered!!
And if you live where the sun is shining and the ground is not frozen solid, you can pretend with your little ones you are going on a trip to the north pole!
- Make a big pile of the clothes your child will be wearing. If you are in a dance studio or classroom you can pile up a bunch of costumes or ask the kids to bring in a bunch of extra clothes for this activity.
- Ask each child to find one article of clothes to put on. After the child puts the clothes on, he or she has to move the body parts the clothes is covering. For example, if the child put on socks, then he or she will have to do a "sock dance." All other body parts should be still while the feet go to town. When the child puts on pants then the pants dance begins; legs, knees, and hips have there turn to move, shake, bend and jump.
- What happens when the hat goes on? How about those mittens?
- When all your layers are on and you are about to go out into the cold try a full body shake, twist and bend. Ask the kids if it is easier to move with more or less clothes. Body awareness is about clicking in to our body, feeling and being aware of each experience. Notice the differences. Are there are similarities? Can you wiggle your nose the same before and after you bundled up?
- The same game can take place after coming in from the cold, when you take all those layers off!!
More on right and left brain activities
Last week I wrote about my pinched nerve and thank goodness I can report I am typing with both hands this week. The experience left me analyzing how often I use my right arm and hand. As a teacher, I try to have the children use both sides of their bodies equally and I was quite surprised at my own body discovery.
I also encourage movements that cross the midline. Basically, when you cross the midline, or center of your body, you engage both right and left sides of the brain. So, you are creating not only movement intergration but brain intergration as well. This is great for all learners of all ages and abilities. For more information on this check out this website: http://www.drjean.org/html/monthly_act/act_2006/03_Mar/pg04.html
Bundling up the Midline
In exploring our bundling up exercise, see if you can encourage your children to exploring their mitten dance down to low level crossing their right arm to their left foot or their sock dance tapping their left foot over their right foot. See how the dance changes and becomes more challenging!
Have fun dancing with your snow bunnies inside, outside, up and down together!