The Benefits of active seating for children
Do children find it easy to sit still?….. NO!
But actually, because of sensory processing and the connection between movement and learning – a moving child is a learning child!
Children do need to sit sometimes to do focused activities, however this is where our HOKKI stools comes into play. They allow children to fidget and making fine adjustments to their movements allows them to develop good core muscles and strengthen the neuro muscular pathways.
The benefits are well researched and are worth adopting for adults who sit at a desk as well!
The biggest change that occurs when you switch from a traditional seat in favour of a more active seat is better focus.
All children have sensory needs. Those needs include vestibular input (received by the inner ear though all of movement) or proprioceptive input (sensory input to the joints and ligaments that contributes to body awareness in space).
When you observe children, those who are not getting enough sensory input will wiggle and fidget. Even children who seem fine in a traditional set and are squirming may have an internal battle. If a child has spent most of their effort and focus on keeping still, they won’t have much left for learning.
Therefore, we use the HOKKI stools, as they allow the children to do plenty of fidgeting and moving whilst they learn.
Movement is a key to health! The human body is made to move, and prolonged sitting is bad for children’s posture and weight.
At the nursery, HOKKI stools establish good core muscles (trunk muscles), gross motor skills and coordination in the children, whilst allowing them to practice their fine motor skills.
There are lots of other active seats on the market, such as gym balls, wobble cushions etc, but HOKKI stools are the highest quality on the market so we bought these from Germany, because children need to fidget and move all the time and HOKKI stools are designed to be slightly unstable so that children cannot slump and have to naturally sit upright. This puts them in the optimum position to activate their core muscles which in turn activates their body and mind.
Of course, we also encourage the children to do a lot of movement that does not include sitting!
The equipment we have in the garden such as the tunnel, the mounds and the slide and beams have been specifically picked to facilitate the development of gross motor skills. The garden also reflects the areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage and allows problem solving on a grander scale.
Children learn by example, so we let them see us walking, running cycling, building, dancing, climbing and even do regular Yoga and Pilates with them. During reading time, we share books about people who lead active lives so that the children become aware of and see other people (adults and children) being active.
We include physical activities in all our daily routines and encourage movement even when we are doing Arts and Crafts.
Purposeful Movement is at the core of everything we do at Monkey Puzzle West Norwood. We understand and recognise that children are active learners. So, in our daily schedule we incorporate two specific physical activities per day, were we blend the specific areas of the EYFS -maths, literacy, understanding the world or art and design with physical play. For example, we might get the children to roll a ball onto numbers or letters and use the paddle board to pull themselves to specific letters or numbers.
Come and visit our Nursery
If you would like to come and see how we incorporate movement into our everyday activities please come and visit us.