On Thursday, April 28th, Dr. JoAnn Deak spoke to Twin Parks teachers about brains, specifically: the input, processing, and output of information. We know that all information comes through our senses. This is one reason why our Montessori sensorial materials are academically age-appropriate for children.
We also talked about the over abundance of visual stimulation young children receive that overshadows the development of two equally important input avenues – auditory and motoric/tactile/kinesthetic. We can’t blame this lack of equal stimulation on the availability of technology (television, dvd players, cell phones, computers, cameras, etc.) because we often use them to pacify children when we are busy doing other things.
In order to stimulate the auditory input areas of the brain, you can read books without showing the pictures – allow children to create the picture in their minds FIRST and tell you about it. After all, the illustrations are just the illustrator’s perception of what the story tells. Use books on tape – without the BOOK. And invite the child to draw a picture about what he/she imagined the characters’s appearance. You can also sing songs, share rhyming words and poems.
If children are sitting passively watching visual stimulation they are not moving enough to develop cognitive learning associated with gross motor development, nor are they engaged with others. So, what can we do? Get outside and play in the park. That’s easy enough for gross motor development and truly if children are running, skipping, hopping, climbing, catching or kicking a ball you have that covered!