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The goal was to foster health and wellness, as well as growth and development in four-year-old children. The objective was to use physical activities such as dance and music to promote healthy growth and development. The rationale is that although growth and development are principal in child growth, health and physical activity interactions should not be overlooked.
Activity 1: Dance at 10 am
- Objective: To expose the children to dance and music, cultural values as well as improve their choreography and movement.
- Execution: The children need to learn tap first because tap forces them to think rhythmically and methodically. These are the basics so that further progress in dance will help them learn how to figure dancing movements in terms of which comes first, what follows, and how it sounds with music.
Activity 2: Playground at 11 am
- Objective: To provide interaction with and manipulation of the natural environment together with simple and inexpensive introduced elements. The playground also provides for social interactions among the children on their own.
- Execution: Various methods were used, which include obstacle courses, where gross motor skills are imparted. The activities include walking, jumping, climbing, leaping and others. Art projects, which impart refined motor skills and necessitate the use of small muscles, are also applicable in the playground. They include drawing and using scissors, as well as grasping objects.
Social behavior advances when children interact with each other in the activities given to them whether dancing, in the playground or learning. Socio-emotional skills are directly proportional to academic success (Beaulieu, 2008). The children can identify their own emotions as well as others, and react to them. They learn to relate with each other and adults positively. Developed social behavior helps them enjoy learning and approach learning with enthusiasm.
Cognitive skills empower children to process the information they encounter. It allows them to recall experiences, analyze their situation, and determine the action to follow. It takes time to develop the cognitive ability for which assessment is not immediate. For those kids who do not develop these skills naturally, more practice and training are required. There was an overall improvement in cognitive skills.
Language develops through stages and children differ in their development (Shulman, 2010). Dance and music help them to understand how music counts, listen to it and repeat basic rhythms. The art projects helped them name common objects in pictures and were able to repeat words with four or more syllables. The activities in the playground help them explore extensive verbalization thus improving their language. The children demonstrated understanding of language since they interpreted the commands given to them, apart from speaking them out.
Emotional development is especially fundamental since children begin to understand the reactions of other people and why they happen the way they do. Activities in the playground enable them to have meaningful social interactions with other children. The children were more willing to solve their issues among themselves whenever a dispute arose, and there was a tendency to understand and interpret each other’s emotions. These are the precise, vital initial stages of emotional development and control. The children related with each other properly and shared their play equipment without dispute.
Physical development in children follows a certain order where large muscles develop before small ones. The gross motor skills develop earlier than the smaller motor skills, which include the use of smaller muscles like fingers to draw. Both of these activities were available in the playground, and progress was observed. Most children at this age had well-developed gross motor skills while small motor skills were developing fast as shown by the drawings. The activities at the playground as well as dancing immensely aided in physical development.
Beaulieu, N. P. (2008). Physical activity and children: New research. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
Shulman, B. B., & Singleton, N. C. (2010). Language development: Foundations, processes, and clinical applications. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.