Children and the Need for Movement, Exercises for Young Ages

Children and the Need for Movement, Exercises for Young Ages

  Autor Steluta Indrei Data: 06.06.2005

Children and the Need for Movement, Exercises for Young Ages

Technical scientific development in contemporary society, besides the positive aspects related to production, has a lot of inconvenience: the elimination of physical exertion and replacing it with the neuropsychic stress. As stress, juvenile sedentary life appears more evident in everyday life; many people understand that active adult intervention is needed to ensure optimum motion of children. The current environment and lifestyle have led gradually to reduce the natural and spontaneous movement, the child living a good deal of time locked in small rooms, without adequate space to play and walk.

The first generations of children whose parents have led a sedentary life appear; a mother whose resistance is low has increased chances of giving birth to a child without vigour. In this case it is recommended, even in the first months of life, that movement represent an important strengthening factor. The diversity of physical exercises is great - from the natural movements: walking, running, jumping, throwing, catching, dragging, climbing etc. - to technical or those that apply, such as: swimming, skiing, cycling, etc.

Gymnastics during early childhood

The notion of early childhood gymnastics, known as *infant gymnastics*, involves a wide range of manoeuvres, techniques, procedures and positioning that can influence the correct static and dynamic, contributing to skills development, harmonious development, but also to hardening the body and strengthening the health. Form and content of the exercises should be adapted according to age, development level and other characteristics. It should be taken into account that in case of a small child, although the muscles are entirely formed, they have reduced ligaments quantitatively and qualitatively and joints are fragile and barely sketched, slow and inaccurate movements, the muscle gets tired quickly. That is why some rules and regulations are mandatory.

General rules

Most experts recommend that a systematic program of physical exercises begin around the age of four months. The exercises consisted of simple, natural movements, applied regularly at the same hour before bath and meal. At first the session is 4-5 minutes, gradually reaching up to 10-15 minutes. Working positions should be as natural as possible, appropriate to the activities, so that the child not to be forced to stay in positions that do not make it happy. Massage should be a basis adjunct.

Implementing rules

All the exercises will be made slowly, quietly, avoiding sudden movements. Grasping the segment should provide joints safety and freedom of movement. The exercises should be accompanied by the warm and loving voice of the person who looks after the child, talking to it constantly and even using a proper music.

Hygienic requirements

The table and the blanket exercises are performed to should be clean, comfortable, allowing accurate moves and positioning; hygiene requirements are mandatory for the adult too (hands and equipment). Room temperature must be appropriate and constant. During summer time you should work outdoors, in a place with shade, away from current. All the exercises done with the child must be accompanied by an adult's verbalization with a gentle voice and affectionate tone, for example: "See, it's a ring. Look! Well done! You saw it!" The child is comforted, and you smile at it. Or: "Here's your toy! Take it! Come on, take it! Catch up with your hand!" etc.

The period between 4 to 5 months years old

1. The child is lying on its back in bed, and the adult stays sideways to it in such a way as to be seen better, trying to get some reactions: smile, gestures, speaking to it constantly.
2. From the same position or seated between the cushions, it must be stimulated to follow with its eyes a red object (ring) that the adult moves laterally, vertically, then circularly.
3. From the same position, slowly and symmetrical sideways stretching the arms.
4. From the same position, movements of bending, annealing and spinning are made with its feet.
5. From lying on its back, the child is raised by the adult, applying its hands under the shoulder blades closing to him/her, the child's legs having the fulcrum on the adult.
6. The child lying on its back is helped to roll on one side and another.
7. From the same position, the adult gradually raise its legs without detaching the shoulders and head from the support surface.
8. The adult placed in front of the child, with arms outstretched, stretches its toe, pulling it toward the seated position and stimulating it to come to him/her.

The period between 6 to 7 months years old:

1. The child, seated on the stool and verbally stimulated is determined to draw a bending motion of the trunk, by adult's call of its name.
2. From the same position, the child is provided different stimulus objects, from smaller to smaller, which are in adult's hand and that the child has to grasp with its little hands.
3. The child lying on its back and the adult sideways to him, the arms go up, with gradually increasing the amplitude.
4. The child lying on its back, lifting its legs as much as to form a 90o angle with the trunk on the abdomen.
5. Stimulation of return from lying on the back to lying on its belly, by providing a toy who catches the child's eye, and then its hand and the rest of the body.
6. The child lying on its back is stimulated to catch two fingers on each hand, which the adult stretches to it, helping it to raise in seated position.
7. The child seated with legs outstretched and a side support is offered stimulus objects to touch them, stimulating it to stretch.
8. Ankle joint is stimulated opposing a slight resistance with palms applied on its soles.

The period between 8 to 9 months years old:

1. Child's gestures and actions are required with simple and clear words: "Sit down, look for the toy, give me your hand", favouring this way the required acts' identification, the involved body parts and active participation in the program.
2. To stimulate by the verbal contact is recommended to use known forms and gestures of imitation: bravo, bye-bye, different mimic (coughing, champing, and whispering), the covering and discovering of certain parts of the body: "look my hand, ear, nose, mouth" etc. To stimulate the orientation in space may be required to look in different directions: "look up, down".
3. The child is asked to sit on a stool with only one of the adult's hand.
4. The child is asked to crawl to a certain point.
5. The child is taught to move from the position on all fours on its knees.
6. The child in seated position shall touch the adult's hand or finger with its foot, verbally stimulating leg movements.
7. The child is asked to hit the ball, to push it, to follow its shifting, supported by the hips and having its hands free.
8. From the standing position, supported by the adult, easy movements are executed by swinging back and forth, displacing the centre of gravity from one foot to another.
9. Trying to assimilate concepts like: "sit down, put the toy, put in the box, and give me your hand".

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