Some children have spent over an hour staring at a device or screen before going to school each day.
That's an hour where their brain and body hasn't received the movement and sensory stimulation that it needs to be prepared for learning for the day.
The increased need for movement before school in children has increased since the introduction of screens and sedentary behaviors in their lives. Excessive screen time can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle, reducing opportunities for physical movement and sensory experiences (more than just flashing lights and irritating sounds).
Insufficient physical activity and sensory deprivation can negatively impact children's physical and mental health, including their readiness for learning.
Physical play, such as hopscotch, running, skipping, climbing, and playing sports, provides essential opportunities for gross motor development, coordination, and overall physical fitness. Sign up to the free handout below to get access to simple movement activities that you can do in your classroom or school indoor/outdoor areas.
In addition to reduced physical activity and sensory deprivation, excessive screen time has been associated with attention and concentration challenges in children. The fast-paced, visually stimulating nature of screens can overstimulate the brain and make it difficult for children to sustain attention on less visually engaging tasks, such as classroom activities. Incorporating movement before school can help regulate attention and arousal levels, improving focus and readiness for learning.
By incorporating movement before school with the simple movement routines listed in the handout above, teachers can help counteract the negative effects of excessive screen time and promote a healthier and more balanced lifestyle for children. The added bonus is that children we be more regulated and focused for the upcoming lesson, providing less stress for both teacher and child.
As you know, it's crucial to find a balance between screen time and physical activity to ensure children's holistic development, learning, and well-being. I'm here to help you with ideas and support whenever you need.
Once you have downloaded the classroom movement routines, let me know which one has been the children's favourite, and I can continue to provide strategies to combat the latest tech lifestyle.