Summer is approaching and keeping your kiddos active is good for their brains and their health. If you have squirmin’ wormin’ little one’s Dr. Lynne Kenney, co-author with Wendy Young, of Bloom: 50 things to say, think and do with anxious, angry over-the-top kids has some helpful advice.
Frequently children get into trouble at home and in summer school because they move too much. They fidget, fall off chairs, or leave their seats when they are expected to remain seated and are generally disruptive to the class. Today we explore why kids move and how you can help them this summer.
Children move at home and in the classroom, for a variety of reasons. In our work we have seen children move too much due to sensory overstimulation, hearing issues and even difficulty seeing. Neurobiological issues such as ADHD, learning issues, developmental differences and delays in social-emotional development may also be factors.
Brain development happens over time and as the brain matures, children often gain better control of their attention, motor inhibition and their emotional responses to social situations. Bloom (May, 2015)
It’s valuable for us to become detectives and consider what the child gains from excessive movement and how this movement benefits the child. Then we can generate creative solutions to meet the child’s needs without disrupting the classroom, camp or home environment. Here is a helpful video along with three resources for your child’s busy body this summer.
1. Kids who move a lot are often seeking brain stimulation. Creating summer days filled with a variety of calming and alerting activities is just the ticket. For calming activities, yoga, listening to music, drawing, crafts and art are body calmers. You can find an array of activities on Dr. Lynne’s NEW community FB this summer. For alerting activities consider 15 minutes outside several times a day for little ones and longer periods of time for older kids.
2. Research tells us that children who exercise remain calm longer, think better and socialize with less impulsivity. So playing outside, jumping rope, playing tennis in the drive-way, walking to day camp, shooting hoops or kicking a soccer ball are all good movement morsels to sprinkle throughout the day. SPARKPE is a terrific resource for schools and families.
3. Music can be both calming and alerting, so it’s pretty magical. Playing piano (even if you aren’t every good at it) for 10 minutes at a time can re-organize the brain and the body. For your kid’s listening pleasure visit Kiboomu.com or Stressfreekids.com.
Share your ideas and resources as well.