How gymnastics helps with one, two buckle my shoe

Child tying shoelacesIs your little one determined to tie his shoes, no matter how long it takes? Or is he content to let you do it? And sometimes do you wonder if Velcro or slip-on shoes wouldn’t be easier?

It may be time to check out your local PLAY Gymnastics BC club and the various classes available for pre-school children.

Why? Because tying shoes, getting dressed and printing are all improved through participating in pre-school gymnastics classes.

Among the skills that children learn in pre-school gymnastics classes is spatial awareness. This ability to be aware of oneself in the surrounding area or space also involves understanding the relationship of objects when there is a change of position (1). Just like trying to tie shoes.

Spatial awareness and tying shoes

Tying a shoe involves manipulating the shoestrings to form a pattern to reach the desired outcome. A child with a good sense of spatial awareness will be much more proficient at acquiring this skill. Mastery of this skill gives the child independence, but also confidence that they are able to perform this task on their own.

Beyond getting out the door quicker, this can also improve math skills in school. According to early childhood researcher Penny Munn, “Tying shoelaces involves spatial awareness and therefore maps onto mathematical development.”

Developing spatial awareness

Most children develop spatial awareness by exploring their world. As they begin to roll, crawl and walk, their spatial awareness is developing. Climbing, jumping, swinging, sliding and dancing are also important factors for developing this skill.

For many children spatial awareness comes naturally. Yet, parents can still help develop this very important skill. Check out any recreational gymnastics class and you will see children climbing over and under, swinging and exploring their world through PLAY. They learn to judge distance and placement by jumping into and onto apparatus.

Safe and fun

Gymnastics classes include all of the fundamental skills, which reinforce the elements of movement including spatial awareness. Children learn levels, force, time and rhythm and in set formations.

All gymnastics classes take place under the guidance and care of certified gymnastics coaches. These coaches are trained to safely lead fun classes. With their bright colours and specialized equipment, PLAY Gymnastics BC clubs are perfect for exploring and trying new skills.

So instead of looking for shoes with Velcro or just tying those shoelaces yourself, visit your local PLAY Gymnastics BC club!

References

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May 24 to 26, 2019

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