Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Becoming Aware of Body Awareness

Week three already?! Where do the hours/days/months go? As all of you with littlies know there are never enough hours in every day!

So this week in our seemingly lightening-quick Head Start sessions we were focusing on Body Awareness. As a physiotherapist, this topic is dear to my heart as being aware of our bodies is just so important for so many facets of life! In a nutshell Body Awareness is the internal awareness (in technical jargon: proprioception) of where your body parts are without having to look at them. In other words the understanding of where your arms, legs, head etc are in relation to each other. This understanding is the first step towards greater spatial awareness, which is all about knowing where your body is in space and in relation to your environment. This is how we are able to duck thru small doorways and squeeze between pieces of furniture - as an interesting aside, your spatial awareness sometimes gets a bit confused as you grow a big preggie belly as your brain doesn't register the change in your shape as fast as your belly grows...which is why suddenly you can find yourself wedged between objects and accidently rubbing your belly on that stranger in the supermarket! Anyhoo, back to the point...as kids learn about where their body parts are and develop a greater understanding of where their body is in space they are better equipped to move in a coordinated way, such as running, turning, leaping and generally just being active.
When they get to school this can help them to navigate their way in a busy classroom environment and also helps to stabilise their trunk while moving their arm in an isolated and coordinated way while handwriting. Who knew that all those songs and games like Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and the Simon Says could be the gateway to so many other skills?!

So what did we do this week at Head Start? For our OYM kids we played with tactile objects out of our heuristic treasure box (google that if you find some more hours in your day ;-) ) to introduce different sensations to different parts of the body (feathers on the toes was a big favourite). Our Ready kids had a ball copying Mum/Dad/Nana by popping a beanie baby on different parts of their body (as our lovely Stasa is demonstrating beautifully in the photo!) whilst the Steady bunch took this one step further by seeing how far they could walk while balancing the beanie (elbow beanies were super tricky!). The Go team got super inventive with their Body Twister moves managing to get elbows, knees, hands and feet into positions that are not recommended for the older members of the class ;-) (remember when you used to be able to do the splits...oh the days!). Our gorgeous Darcia is pictured doing her very best Twister moves!

So all in all, another great week for the Head Starters of Term 2. Try to get creative this week and use your newly practiced Body Awareness skills at home too - What a great excuse to get out your newborn clothes out of storage and dress up all the teddies...see how many parts of the body you can throw into the conversation! Try looking thru your books and see how many noses/ears/toes etc you can find on each page. For the older ones get creative with your Simon Says instructions. Lastly, see if you can make up actions to all your favourite songs, Hokey Tokey, Knees Up Mother Brown and If You're Happy and You Know It are great places to start but I am sure you can think of loads more!

Have fun and keep warm - I am looking forward to exploring Auditory Patterning with you all next week!
Lizz & the Head Start Team

No comments:

Post a Comment