Get moving! It turns out that jog around the oval we remember from primary school may have actually helped more than our fitness!
Research presented at the recent Autism Qld Research to Practice seminar suggests that opportunities for movement during the school day has a positive impact on behaviour and academic performance. These benefits were seen not only with children on the autism spectrum, but also with their fellow learners in the classroom. Brilliant! Need some ideas to get your child moving at home or at school? Here are 3 of our favourites!
1. Go Noodle – A free website and app you can use for free to get kids active with movement games and videos. Most videos are targeted at primary school aged kids, but younger kids would still appreciate the music even if they can’t keep up with all the moves! We’ve linked to the website in the comments below.
2. The 5-4-3-2-1 challenge! Challenge your child to do 5 different types of movements in descending order (e.g. Can you do 5 star jumps, 4 bear crawls, touch 3 taps in the house, hop twice and walk around the lounge room once.). You may need to start with a 3-2-1 challenge initially as this one is a memory challenge also! You can help your child practise memory strategies as an added bonus!
3. Backyard obstacle course: No equipment needed! Use what you already have in your backyard, whether that’s a trampoline, swings or trees and rocks! Take turns coming up with the next section of the obstacle course (e.g. your child might suggest crawling under the swings, then you might suggest jumping with 2 feet together to the nearest tree!). Try to make your suggestions high energy movements as some research suggests that it’s aerobic exercise that has the most positive impact on behaviour and academic performance. Strategically add in some yoga poses and deep breaths towards the end to transition back inside!
We’d love to hear how you encourage your child to get moving at home!