Gone are the days when the vast majority of parents focus solely on their child’s academic pursuits and progress.
In recent years, more and more parents also show concern and inclination towards the other developmental domains of their children. Having a more holistic approach in their child’s development has become of utmost importance.
Many studies support the idea that acquiring a strong foundation in the physical domain helps promote growth across all developmental fields. There are a lot of facets that one should consider when it comes to physical development, but coordination plays a vital role in gross and fine motor skills.
While most people can go about their day-to-day life with below-average coordination, there is a multitude of benefits we can get from a well-coordinated body. Coordination is essential because, through it, children are more mindful of how their bodies work.
A child who has good coordination can easily move and reach their developmental milestones in quick time. Not to mention, coordination is also needed in a lot of essential skills, especially during the early years.
Not only is coordination necessary in different school-related tasks, but children who have good coordination are more likely to excel in different sports and physical activities.
Most importantly, it can have a positive effect on their self-esteem, confidence, and it can also boost their social skills. The good thing about coordination is that through practice, training, and reinforcement, it can be improved and strengthened.
Let’s take a look at a few activities children can participate in to help them with this. Today, Evolve Daily shares four ways to improve your child’s coordination.
1) Martial Arts Training
Designed by a Harvard University graduate and taught by World Champions, Evolve MMA’s Little Samurai Children’s Program helps children build life skills to become the best version of themselves!
Posted by Evolve MMA on Tuesday, September 17, 2019
At the top of this list is martial arts classes for kids. Because any given discipline of martial arts requires a lot of coordination.
Whether it’s throwing a roundhouse kick in a Muay Thai class or securing an armbar in a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, one seemingly simple action actually requires lots of proper coordination, which students steadily master as they progress in class.
Most disciplines of martial arts teach students general movement that is learned through a set of basic to advanced drills. In effect, this helps improve memorization skills and preserves technique. Training consists of repeating and practicing moves over and over until mastery. And this is done from the very first session to years after as students advance through training.
Learning martial arts requires a lot of focus, and children learn to pay attention to their bodies when practicing techniques. This no doubt helps in improving coordination.
Martial arts classes also enhance coordination by teaching children how to be process-oriented and not just focus on the results of training.
A martial arts class isn’t just for kids alone too. Parents can join in on the fun and train with them. It could turn out to be a fun family activity.
Most parents need not look further than playtime. It is easy to forget how simple and accessible and naturally occurring playtime is for young children.
For years, child psychologists and educators have underlined how important playtime is, especially during the early stages of childhood. The reason is because it introduces children to the spatial world, the real physical world they move and live in.
Structured and unstructured playtime are both great when it comes to improving coordination. Unstructured playtime or free play is mostly led and directed by children and their imaginations. As the name suggests, structured playtime, on the other hand, is goal-oriented and fosters an environment where problem-solving may be required.
It is amazing how many skills a child can learn through playtime. If you are looking to enhance or strengthen your child’s fine motor coordination, something as simple and relatively inexpensive, like pouring water in containers, can already reinforce hand-eye coordination.
Activities like stacking cups, slotting toys, opening bottles, zipping, buttoning, connecting toy blocks, scribbling, all help with coordination. The list goes on. And there are many activities and various toys they can play with that help with this specifically.
There are also loads of simple and engaging activities that you and your child can enjoy indoors while they acquire and strengthen their fine motor coordination skills. The only requirement from you as an adult is undivided attention.
— Evolve MMA (@EvolveMMA) January 21, 2020
The opposite of indoor play, is, of course, good old fashioned outdoor play. When was the last time you let your child play outside? Maybe it’s time to get some sunshine.
A regular trip to the playground or a short stroll outdoors can be beneficial to your child’s gross motor coordination. It is exciting for young children to run, walk, crawl, climb, and slide and just explore their outdoor environment. Outdoor play is also physically and mentally stimulating for young children.
Outdoor play is just as important as indoor play, so make it a point to take your children outside so they can experience the world. In turn, they get to reinforce their bilateral coordination or using both sides of the body at the same time and gain muscular strength and gain spatial awareness.
Many experts claim that children and adults can reap a lot of benefits when they swim regularly. It is an exciting whole-body activity that many young kids look forward to all throughout the year.
Not only is swimming an excellent form of exercise, but it is a wonderful activity that enhances coordination since it needs simultaneous and sometimes continuous movement of the arms and legs to move or stay afloat.
Furthermore, knowing how to swim is a basic survival skill that everyone should have. In addition, it is also a great way to stay in shape and allow your child to be healthy and fit.
Swim class is not only for children. It can be for adults too, so consider taking swim classes with your kids. It may be a fun activity to try together.
Similar to martial arts, dancing needs a lot of coordination and focus for children to execute the correct movement at the right time.
A recent study reported that through years of training, ballet dancers had enabled their nervous systems to coordinate with their muscles better than people who do not have any background in dance. The ballet dancers were able to utilize their muscles more effectively than their counterparts during a series of tests.
When it comes to dancing, the whole body needs to be tuned in so that it moves in a coordinated manner, and since it also has repetitive movements, it can be memorized by the child after a while.
So if you’re looking to help your child develop the necessary coordination to help them excel at life, give martial arts a go!
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