Don’t tell toddlers to sit still, movement is essential to learning

(Photo: Terrie Rose)

Toddlers are always on the move! Their bodies are busy and always on the go. Why? Because movement is essential to their learning.

Toddlers use their bodies to explore and gain knowledge. The information gathered by their bodies, transfers to their brains. When toddlers jump off small ledges, they are practicing balance and coordination. They are also learning science — gravity, depth perception, and measurement!

The more toddlers move, the stronger are the neural pathways in their brains.

Moving enhances learning. So rather than sit still, encourage toddlers to walk backward, kick a ball, and jump with two feet. Create crawling tunnels with tables and blankets or empty boxes. The body and brain are communicating!

Moving is good news for adults too. Research shows that movement boosts healthy aging and improves cognitive functioning. So, compared to having a sedentary job, continuous movement improves your brain and body. Keeping up with toddlers is good for your health!

Bio: Dr. Terrie Rose is a leader in the field of early childhood development and emotional readiness. She is an author, speaker, trainer and an Ashoka Fellow, who has developed a childcare model and curriculum for infants and toddlers to ensure emotional readiness.

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