As both a Teacher and a Dance/Movement therapist, I have the luxury to step into both shoes at the preschool that I work with and share my love for both. While we play outside in the afternoon, there are times when I have to be a Hawk and watch and observe the children making sure they are safe and no one is upset or hurt. Yet, other times, I am still of course always observing and keeping my eyes on everyone, however, I can trust that my co-workers are in other areas of the playground and I can interact with small groups of children.
I’m not sure when I shared this movement game with some of the children, it must have been awhile back, but one child in particular, asks me everyday when we are playing outside, ” Can we play the movement game?!” It warms my heart that 1. She remembers the game and 2. Enjoys moving her body on her own and with others. Even though it is a game, there are many yummy and powerful effects it has on humans, specifically kids.
Let me share with you what this movement game entails and then I’ll give you some of the benefits!
The Movement Game:
There are many ways this can be done and is important to know your group/child that you are working with and adapt it based on who they are.
We first begin standing in a circle (or sitting in a circle) and each person shares a movement and either the whole group mirrors them (copies their movement) or just claps along as they move their bodies and we like to sing, “Go (persons name) Go Rachael, Go Go Go Rachael, Go Rachael, Go Rachael, Go Go Go Rachael!” Then Rachael would pass the movement to the next person either by throwing it like a pretend ball or however she would want to pass it. The person that is dancing can dance in the middle of the circle or just in their spot. I like to ask the child if they want us to copy them and join them in their movement or solely watch them dance. This can also be two different games!
Benefits of the Movement Game:
- Being seen and heard by others
- Seeing others and being aware of who they are
- Non-verbal communication
- Physical movement is important in making neural pathways in the brain
- Body/Spatial awareness
- Self-regualtion and waiting for your turn
- Connection to others and social skills
(There are many more benefits but these are just a few that are happening as you do this simple and fun game!)
Thank you for joining me in my reflection of moving with children and I look forward to share more tools that I use with my children soon!
p.s., one last thing.. Dance on your own and Dance with a friend!