What is cognitive development? What does it mean and how can we encourage it? Well firstly cognitive development is the development of the mind. It is learning how to recognise, understand and problem solve. It incorporates the memory, keeping focus and attention and building on concepts. It using several parts of the brain, working together. So how does movement and movement programs aid this? Well in our program we know that we use:
– Our memory, we build on the same exercises each week using the children’s memories
– Concepts: We build on concepts starting with low and high, to story telling allowing the children to use their imagination to act out stories and scenarios
– Problem solving: We problem solve, we spot dangers like crocodiles and sharks and determine the best course of action.
– Using both sides of the brain: We incorporate movements using each side of our body individually and at the same time which gets both sides of the brain working enhancing development of the corpus collusum.
– Imagination: Our program is formal imaginative play. We encourage the children’s involvement to create with their imagination and act out with their body. This helps with engagement, creativity and learning.
My Top 3 exercises for Cognitive Development
Thread the Needle
This is a great exercise for crossing the midline, using both sides of the body, core strength and mindfulness. We also build on concepts with this exercise through developing stories.
This is a wonderful exercise for coordination, bilateral use and concentration. Kids are unsettled and irritable try and get them doing this one and watch them calm down and start to focus.
Wide Leg stretch
Another great exercise for crossing the midline and engaging both sides of the brain and body. Something that translates into development of the brain for activities like reading and writing down the track.