The following are two movement stories you can use with young children.
Excerpts from Movement Stories for Children Ages 3 – 6
by Helen Landalf and Pamela Gerke
Excerpt from introductory chapter “WHY MOVEMENT?”
Movement is the currency of life. Even when our bodies are at rest there is movement in the slow rise and fall of our breath and the coursing of blood through our veins. We move to survive, to learn, to discover where we end and the outer world begins.
Young children, in particular, have a nearly insatiable desire for movement. Witness the desperate striving of a toddler to take his or her first step, the breathless, active bodies of children on a playground, or the constant squirming of students confined to desks, and you will see how powerful the drive toward movement can be.
But, all too soon, we expect children to suppress the urge to move-to sit still, be quiet, stop fidgeting, pay attention. Many educational systems, in particular, seem to operate from the viewpoint that unless children are sitting still, solemnly facing the teacher, they are not learning.
Fortunately, educational researchers are beginning to discover that nothing could be further from the truth. With the publication of Frames of Mind, Howard Gardner’s groundbreaking work on the Multiple Intelligences, new interest is being focused on the “Kinesthetic Leaner” – the child who actually learns best through movement.
Not only kinesthetic learners, but all students can derive numerous benefits from the use of movement as an educational tool. Body awareness, coordination, flexibility, and spatial awareness are some of the physical skills a child gains through movement. A child’s cognitive skills develop through vocabulary- building and creative problem-solving, while his or her social/emotional self grows through cooperation with others and a growing sense of self-esteem. The very functioning of the brain itself is enhanced through repetition of specific developmental movements. Movement truly fosters the development of the whole child: body, mind, and spirit.