Movement in Early Childhood

Barrow Street teachers recognize the importance of providing many opportunities for children to move their bodies throughout the day. Juliana, our movement teacher, designs movement experiences that incorporate both song and dramatic play, allowing children to sing, dance, move and pretend simultaneously.Movement experiences are fun, exercise children’s growing bodies, and contribute to brain and gross motor development during the early childhood years.

In the popular game called “Is this the house of Mistress Mouse?,” children follow a familiar routine, sing a song, recall animal sounds, and practice the art of crawling and climbing into a teeny-tiny “mouse house”. This game is a favorite of 2s/3s, Young 3s and 3s/4s, and provides a natural opportunity for practicing language skills and working large muscles.

Juliana often incorporates a dramatic play element into her movement games. In a recent Pre-K class for example, children were magically turned into balls of clay in a “clay museum”. Juliana provided guidelines for children as they turned their bodies into sculptures. This game involved listening carefully to a set of instructions, collaborating with peers, and controlling one’s body in space.

Barrow Street teachers also seize opportunities for children to use hoops and large bouncy balls in the gym, to race across the track on tricycles, or to climb the equipment and build with large wooden blocks on the rooftop playground. Finding time for movement is especially important in the winter months, when we all spend a lot of time indoors staying warm and cozy. What are some of your family’s favorite ways to move together?

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