Application Week 5 Kristie Davenport Child, Health, Safety and Nutrition Walden University July 10, 2011/Week5 Professor Sachs Application Week 5 Many of the motor skills that we take for granted as adults are actually learned skills that we mastered as children and many of these are taught to us by others. One of these very basic skills is that of balance. As infants we begin to try to master balance with the first challenges such as holding up the head. By recognizing this we as early childhood professionals need to take heed to the importance of the gross motor development as well. Developing an understanding of one’s body and its place in space is one of the benefits of physical activities that are structured and goal oriented. Manipulative skills such as throwing and catching a ball not only enhance eye hand coordination but also a child’s self-esteem is strengthened by mastering these skills. If these activities are taught in a fun and imaginative ways children will learn to love this part of their growth and development. By not taking the time to make gross motor activities a priority children may lose out on many of the positive results. If children are not taught that physical exercise is important when they are young it may breed an apathetic attitude which could result in an overweight or obese child. If some physical areas are not developed, these children will not be picked to be on the good teams or partners during gymnastics. This also affects self image and esteem. Keeping this part of the day fun should help to instill it as a positive thing to do and hopefully an attitude that will remain with them for life. I love to do my more structured physical time with the children to music. One of my favorite is the “Macarena”. I teach Spanish as part of my daily curriculum and this is an easy addition to break up a group session and get their attention back on track. By the end of the song they are winded, happy and smiling. When they hear the beginning of the song they light up and cheer. I have also made up movements to other songs that are popular and fun to listen to. One very old and basic game I find suits preschoolers is “Hot Potato” with a bean bag. This addresses the more manipulative area of development. Also on rainy days the children love “Duck, Duck, Goose” as long as it remains calm and safe for the indoors. A quote that I found covers my new found understanding of the importance of structured motor activity for children I got from the article “SKIPing toward an Active Start” and it reads, “Childhood obesity and physical inactivity are clearly major concerns these days, and everyone in the educational community needs to be a part of the solution. So, while children are still young, let us help them develop motor skill competence and a love of being physically active.” This assignment has opened my eyes to the importance and impact of the development of motor skills on the whole child and how much of it is taught and not come by automatically. The role that I will now play with my children at the center has gained yet another facet and I look forward to implementing many of the suggested activities soon.