Moving Smart Community Project
Moving Smart Community Project
Earlier this year, the Bundaberg Baptist Family Day Care Scheme in partnership with the Bundaberg and District Early Years Network sort funding to implement professional development and mentoring in children’s developmental milestones and linkages with fundamental movements and brain development. We have a secret passion for research into children’s brain development and immediately wanted to be involved!
The project has seen Gill Connell (from Moving Smart, NZ) travel to Bundaberg and Maryborough to deliver several professional development workshops – aimed at early childhood educators, teachers, parents and allied health professionals. The project also included engaging allied health professionals to work in settings mentoring early childhood educators – which was undertaken between January and June 2017 at services in Bundaberg, Childers, Hervey Bay and Maryborough.
A Moving Child Is a Learning Child Workshops
The professional development workshops delivered by Gill, were based on evidence that suggests that movement primes the brain for learning. Moving Smart, NZ promotes a carefully crafted mix of movement activities to promote optimal physical and neurologic development. The program was developed by Gill Connell in 1997 to help teachers and parents understand the role movement plays in early childhood development while giving children all they need to move their bodies, build their brains and develop the foundations they need for a lifetime of learning.
A Moving Child Is a Learning Child is a book written by Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy. The resource book introduces parents and educators to tools that support full, natural development of movement and learning in young children. The book tells the story of how the body teaches the brain to think: through play and movement. Move, Play and Learn with Smart Steps is another book written by Gill, Cheryl and Wendy Pirie. This book contains sequenced activities that parents, educators and children can play together to help build the body and the brain.
While Gill was in our region she delivered workshops with Educators and visited Centres speaking about the Moving Child / Learning Child concepts.
Over 120 Educators attended the workshops and continue to implement the play activities with children across their Services.
YMCA Childcare and Kindergarten had fun demonstrating the “Conveyor Belt Rolling” activity. The activity is great to develop teamwork as children work together, including others in their thinking and actions. The activity also tends to slow children down, which means more deliberate and measured movements (read a blog here from Gill about the importance of being slow). This simple activity provides so much benefit to children including enhancing a child’s overall sense of body control by strengthening the core muscles and providing new vestibular (balance) stimulation.
Moving Smart Mentoring
As part of the wider Moving Smart Community Project, allied health professionals (including chiropractors, occupational therapists and physiotherapists) from Community Lifestyle Support and Family Chiropractic Bundaberg are currently working within early childhood services assisting educators to implement the learnings from Gills Workshops. The mentoring will continue until the end of June 2017.
Moving Smart Community Project is administered and delivered by Bundaberg Baptist Family Day Care Scheme on behalf of Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN, and funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.