EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

Kate’s Corner: Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Posted on: February 15, 2010

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

I am going to write a book one day and the title will be “Little Boys Take up Space!” because that is exactly what they do – take up space! Watch them – they roll and push and bounce from their youngest infant stage! As toddlers, little guys are the climbers, runners, ball throwers and stretchers! Preschool little boys have figured out that the more they “spread out” the more control they have over their environment and that means fun! So trucks now have block towers built just to bulldoze over and the airplanes and helicopters take flight all through classrooms and playrooms!

This column is specific to little boys (although I certainly expect many families to “see” their little girls in the information and activities)!

Brain research, developmental experts (L. Griffin) as well as classroom and life experience point to the fact that little boys are busy – they use their bodies as often and as much as they can. Language soon catches up but while that is happening, bodies and muscles are growing, thinking skills are refining and social structures point boys into very active motion and activities. Our society expects and encourages boys from their very youngest age to be active and tough – whether right or wrong, there is an accepted truth to the adage: Boys will be Boys.

As parents it is critical to give little boys the space they need to grow, play and learn. They will use body power and developing control skills to gain the most from environments and relationships. Let’s join them in this wonderful journey by providing them safe places to move and explore and activities that encourage and support body strength and processes.

  • Run, jump, climb and move in indoor and outdoor environments that are safe and well equipped with slides, climbers, swings, balls, hula-hoops, pushing and riding vehicles, kites, flyers, blocks & bouncers.
  • Time is as important as space! Take time with little guys to dig, scoop, exercise and build. Use appropriate tools and toys in sand, gravel and ground – engage bodies and brains.
  • Relax and have fun! Little boys will use their bodies and take up space in as many ways as possible. We can “fight” with them over this or acknowledge, support and enjoy these wonderful little ones as they use everything they’ve got to learn everything they can!

Research also shows that little boys can lag in small muscle skill development (Ready to Read) which can impact their beginning reading and writing skills. While using big muscles be sure that printing, coloring, lacing and puzzles are part of the fun!

-Kate dust, EduKids Education Director

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