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."

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Getting kids up and moving is a great idea any time of the year, but especially around the holidays when daily routines can be interrupted. With all the hustle and bustle of the season, there's actually less time for the hustle and bustle of active play kids need. And with 24 long days of waiting for that big day to come, it can leave them anxious, antsy and, of course, sugar-rushed!

So, for the next 24 days, we're hosting A Kinetic Christmas... a move-to-learn countdown for little ones, from birth to 7 years.

Now, if you've been reading along these past weeks, you know we've just launched our new book, A MovingChild Is a Learning Child, in which we introduce The Kinetic Scale -- a new tool designed to make it easy to develop a "well balanced diet" of movement activities throughout the early childhood years. So we thought A Kinetic Christmas would be a great way to show you how it works.

We'll get into more detail as we go along. But for now, let's get moving, shall we? Because, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Day 1
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!
BIRTH TO CRAWLING (Approximately 0-14 months)

Click to Enlarge

The Kinetic Scale is a quick visual guide to the underlying benefits or "nutrients" of children's movement and play. It features three Sensory and three Motor categories of nutrients we call Physicalities. 

When a child plays, the Physicalities are at work, building the body and brain for learning. But of course, no two activities are exactly alike, so the scale tilts to show you the specific benefits inherent in all the fun!

For this first activity, you'll see the scale tilting to the Sensory side. That's because tinsel is a terrific sensory material for all ages and for any time of the year! It sparkles, shines and reflects light for strong visual stimulation while providing a unique, soft-yet-prickly textural experience. It curves, bends and moves to a child's will, and when it does, it makes a distinct rustling sound, great for auditory discrimination and sharpening listening skills.

Visual Stimulation, Eye Fitness
The sparkles are ideal for attracting and holding baby's attention. For infants, dangle a bit of tinsel 8-12" away from their eyes. Twist it to catch the light. Rock it back and forth across baby's field of vision to encourage early eye teaming and tracking.

Visual Stimulation
Wad up some tinsel in your hand. When you open your hand, the tinsel will pop up! A great first, "jack in the box" surprise for baby! Do it again! Babies love surprises!

Textural Stimulation, Grasp (Palmar) Reflex
Start by introducing tinsel slowly to baby. Show it to her first and talk about it. Then, place it gently on the palm of her hand for her to grasp.

Textural Stimulation, Body Awareness
Gently weave the tinsel through baby's fingers to stimulate her sense of touch. Always be aware of baby's reactions. If it appears she's not enjoying it, stop for now and try again another time. And try the same game with her toes too!

Textural Stimulation, Power, Midline Development
Once baby is crawling, lay out some tinsel on the floor and encourage her to follow the trail... right up to the Christmas tree!

We'd love to hear how your tinsel time goes, so please leave a comment here or on our Facebook page.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, active holiday season!

For more information about A Moving Child Is a Learning Child, please hop over to our friends at Free Spirit Publishing


  1. When we have been working hard in our kindergarten classroom, I like to stop for a break now and then to feed the students' needs. My question is how can I tell which side of the balance I should move to when choosing a break activity. It is intended as a break from the focus for a few minutes but we will need to get back to focusing again all too soon. My sense tells me we need to stretch and wiggle.

    1. Hi Gail - great question. The short answer is all of the Kinetic Scale tools need to be addressed every day. In our new book we call these Motivators which are exactly the kinds of activities you are talking about to give kids the balanced physical diets they need. To give you an idea of how Motivators work, here's a blog post we wrote several months ago on Have fun and let me know how it goes.

  2. Gill, This is a terrific idea for your blog!! This first article is full of new and refreshing ideas that can get us all excited about this season and will help to engage children in healthy activities. Thanks for sharing this and I look forward to the following days! Happy Holidays to you and yours:)

    1. Thanks Katherine… they are fun to write and so easy to do. My grand kids are loving being the models trying new things! Happy holidays to you too!

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