So what is a post about core strength doing in an Early Literacy Storytime series?
Children learn about our written language by exploring pre-writing activities as well as pre-reading activities. Having strong core stomach, side, and back muscles, allows children to be successful writers. If you can stand up or sit up straight at a table, without using your hands or forearms for balance or support, your hands are free to hold your paper steady, pick up writing utensils, and make marks with them. Activities that use our whole bodies helps to build this muscle strength!
The more successful a child can be at their first attempts at writing or reading, the more motivated they will be to keep trying and keep learning.
You already do lots of full-body activities in storytime! “The Hokey Pokey,” the Wiggles’ “Do the Monkey,” “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” are all great action songs.
You can also sing and act out “Row Row Row Your Boat.” Tell your kids you are going on a trip and need help with the rowing. If you like, show a picture of a rowboat, and talk about how the oars push the boat through the water. Show how you can sit on your bottom and pretend to be in a boat. Lean forward and grab those oars! Pull them back!
You can sing and row very quickly, then sing and row v-e-r-y slowly. You could have children sit facing their parents and pull back and forth on each other’s hands. Or sit young babies on their parents’ laps and lean forward and back together.
After you’ve sung a few verses, tell the grownups: “When you encourage your child to use their whole body while they play, they are building strong core muscles that will help them sit easily. This helps them become a good writer because they don’t have to use their hands to balance themselves at the table.”
What other great action songs are good at building core muscles?