Things are moving and shaking at the Seed this summer. When we designed our program this year, we wanted to make sure there was a strong movement component. The summer heat often brings on a tendency toward being lethargic, so we decided to take a proactive approach. We have regularly scheduled music classes once a week which are generally movement-oriented. For example, the older elementary group this week incorporated instruction on percussion instruments into a game of freeze dance. They felt the music and responded with their entire bodies.
Expanding on our music program, we asked each teacher to plan a half hour each day devoted to movement, excluding Fridays since it’s our water play day and includes LOTS of movement. We set up one of our classrooms as a movement room, which has equipment for making obstacle courses, a parachute, a space to do yoga poses, and an assortment of props to enhance movement. Using the same daily schedule for the room as we do for music, classes take turns rotating through the space. It’s been a wonderful addition to our summer camp.
I checked in with each of the teachers to see how their movement curriculum is going and received a range of creative responses. The toddlers, who are always on the move, have been practicing their balance moves on the balance beam in the multipurpose room. They’re also learning to wait for a turn and how to be safe. Their teacher reported that they especially like doing partner yoga poses, which integrates physical and social development. The toddlers engage in their movement time right before lunch, which gives them sensory output time before shifting into lunch and nap time.
The Preschool 3s class has been actively involved in large scale art projects, which requires the whole body. They play in their garden, pushing trucks around, pretending a big black bear is hiding from them. Some of their favorite movement activities are tossing, kicking, and chasing beach balls in the multi, running into and away from the hose during water play, and dancing to music with the rainbow ribbons.
Preschool 4s students have kept their bodies moving this summer through games like Freeze Dance, the Museum Game, relays, parachute games, and obstacle courses in the movement room. Our K-1 students have incorporated technology into their movement through use of a site called Go Noodle. It offers engaging, upbeat songs with movement invitations, as well as other activities that promote mindfulness and relaxation. The wonderful thing about this approach is it helps kids regulate their physical and emotional selves.
A first-time experience this summer for 2nd-6th graders is a two-week block devoted to learning different dance genres, plus a performance toward the end of the session. Students have been exploring different dance steps, doing daily group warmups with hula hoops, and learning a selection of dances for next week’s showcase performances on Tuesday, July 2 (10:30 AM and 2:30 PM), and Wednesday, July 3 (2:30 PM). We welcome parents, grandparents, and friends to join us for this celebration of movement. It’s always been part of our Seed mission to educate the whole child. Our intentional inclusion of movement in the curriculum this summer is an excellent example of what is possible as we seek to refine our work with children.