Movement is at the very core of how children develop intellectually, emotionally, socially, and of course, physically. Here at Moving Smart we foster children's naturally move-to-learn style while helping parents and teachers understand the comprehensive benefits of all that wiggling!

That's why we say "A Moving Child is a Learning Child."

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A KINETIC CHRISTMAS: The Three-Headed Gingerbread Monster!

Day 11
The Three Headed Gingerbread Monster!
FROM HOPPING TO SKIPPING (Approximately 4+ years)

So much of early childhood is a journey of self that begins with understanding "me" which unlocks the foundations for understanding others. We call that the sense of "otherness." But with so much developmental stuff on their plates already, "otherness" doesn't come naturally to most kids at first.

Here's a really silly game that gets little ones working together (so long as they don't fall over from laughing)! Like all of our Kinetic Christmas activities, this can be done any time of the year, but just so you know, folklore holds that it all began when Santa decided to meddle in the kitchen...

A few years back, Santa was inspecting the kitchen operations, and discovered that Mrs. Claus had instructed the bakers to make each Gingerbread Man one at a time. With a keen eye for efficiency, Santa exclaimed, "If we can make one at a time, we can make three at a time!"

The elves tried to explain but... but... but... Santa was gone in a flash.

The elves did as Santa asked, but... but... but...

It turns out, when you bake three Gingerbread Men at once, you get something altogether unusual... a three-headed Gingerbread Monster!

What do you think that monster did?

Use an old men's zippered jacket and put three kids inside. Zip it up as far as you can so they stay close together. (Alternatively, you can use a towel or any other soft material that keeps the kids tucked in together.) And note, this can be one with two kids as well.

Be sure the kids are looking outward, away from each other so they have to feel and react to the others' movements.

Now comes the fun!


WARM UP. Begin by just having the kids circle around. This gives them an intuitive sense of which movements are possible, and which are restricted.

THREE-HEADED WALKING. Next, pick a spot in the room about 5-10 feet away, and encourage them to walk to the spot. Stay with them to keep them steady as they get the hang of it. (Remember, it's likely one child will be walking forward, one to the side, and one backwards.)

GO FETCH. Once they get the hang of it, assign them a simple task, such as can you please cross the room, pick up a pencil, and bring it back to me. Be sure to give the kids plenty of room to move, and plenty of time to figure out how they're going to work together as a team to achieve their goal! Guide and support as needed.

MONSTER PLAY. Now it's their turn. Open up the play to anything they want to try. Who knows, you might just discover that a Three-Headed Gingerbread Monster can do!


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