Physical Literacy News
Getting Moving – Building Brain Power
- Posted by: Nalda Wainwright
- Category: Blog
If you have been giving your baby tummy time and plenty of opportunities for kicking and moving on the floor then you will notice increasing strength in their neck and shoulders. You will see that they are looking at toys and beginning to reach for objects. They will want to move and reach out for things and these movements will be erratic and seem random at first. This is them learning about their body and how it moves in a process called sensory integration. Sensory integration is when information from the body is being processed by the nervous system and the brain.
The baby’s brain is being flooded with information from sensations, eyes, ears and every place in their body. This information has to be sorted by the brain and nervous system and begin to develop perceptions. This integration of movement and sensory information into the brain is how your baby is laying the foundations for their learning and behaviours. As the brain is stimulated in sensory integration it is making networks across millions of brain cells in a process called myelination. Myelination of nerve networks means that information passes more quickly along the pathway. The more your baby experiences things and is stimulated the more the brain will myelinate networks. Myelination is important as it makes pathways more efficient. This process of laying down networks is needed for the brain to be able to process complex information later on as your baby grows and develops. That is why play and movement is vital for learning. Your child needs to lay these neural foundations for more complex thinking later on. So if you want your baby to be able to learn to read and understand numbers when they are older they need to have lots of movement and play.