Move to Learn & Learn to Move: movement and literacy
Sometimes life is so busy that you struggle to fit in everything that you’ve set aside to do. Add to the list your child’s homework, physical exercises and extra reading and writing practice.
Why not use everyday routines to target your child’s movement and literacy goals?
These are not only highly motivating but are fun and most importantly helps with important skill development. It is also suitable for all ages, from the young to the old.
Make yourself a cup of tea and hand the pen and paper to your child.
Writing the shopping list: Ask your child to write or type the shopping list. For the little ones too young to write, let them watch as you write out the words. Spell words phonetically as you write and clap out the syllables in longer words “ba-na-na”.
Verbal reasoning: Tell your child to open the cupboards and fridge to see what you’re running low on. Group the food items together (this helps with word retrieval skills by teaching categorisation for example: dairy products, meat products, fruit and vegetables). This might also be a good time to introduce the food pyramid to teach your child about proteins, carbohydrates and the different fruits/vegetables for your 5 a day.
Planning your trip: Support your child in planning what is needed for the trip: shopping list, token for trolley, shopping bags, discount vouchers, face mask.
Movement: Park the car a little further away than what’s convenient. Encourage your child to push the shopping trolley. For the little ones, bring your own toy trolley along. Let your child take the products or items off the shelf. Just think of all the exercise your child is getting: bending, lifting, stretching, pushing and pulling.
Comment more, DO less: Give your child verbal instructions (rather than helping physically). Tell your child which products to choose. Show your child how to select fruit and place it in a plastic bag.
Financial literacy: If available, use the self-checkout service. Ask your child to scan the barcode and read the product’s name on the screen and how much it cost. This is a very important skill in establishing some financial literacy from an early age on.
Strength and endurance: Help your child to bag, lift and push the heavy trolley back to the car. You can extend your child’s movement regime by walking back the ‘long way’ back to the car. Challenge his spatial perception and balance by walking around poles, across uneven footpaths or push the trolley across the grass – now that’s a workout!!
Task completion: Don’t forget to let your child help unpack the bags. This will further help develop sorting and categorisation skills. Encourage your child to read the labels and talk brief about how the product will be used in cooking or baking.
Memory recall: At the end of the day, take 5 minutes to recall the shopping trip. See how many products your child can remember. Use sequencing words to cue your child: “first we…, then we…, next we… and last we…”
Even though shopping might take a bit longer, just think of all the movement, literacy, language, planning, task completion goals addressed in one routine activity! This is what physical literacy is all about: it’s motivating, fun, and encourages important movement skill development. Now that’s Move to Learn and Learn to Move!
For ideas on how to develop ‘Movement and Listening Skills’ at home, please go to our YouTube channel:
Throughout our podcasts we will also endeavour to illustrate the importance of movement as a foundation skill to learning: Move to Learn, Learn to Move.
To listen to Aled Hughes and Marinet Brennan’s podcasts on the topic of ‘Movement and Listening’ click on the Apple / iTunes Podcast link below. You can also find us on Spotify.