Why Play is Brain Work
“Movement develops the brain. Our brain needs to build experiences and references from the things we can physically taste, touch and smell.”
“We use basic movements to develop neurological pathways and promote sensory-motor integration, posture and learning ease.” This according to Rika Grove, a Mind Moves instructor here in Namibia.
“Mind moves serves to integrate and inhibit primitive reflexes, integrate the dominant parts to promote whole brain learning and to warm up the brain in readiness for specific kinds of learning in classroom or different situations.” according to Rika.
Rika explains that most of the Mind Moves practitioners in Namibia are teachers who have seen that there is a need for such programs especially for young children that need movement to be able to develop. Rika explains that this is “because movement develops the brain. Our brain needs to build experiences and references from the things we can physically taste, touch and smell.”
When asked whether some of the problems we are seeing with children struggling to concentrate in class could stem from too much time watching television or playing on an iPad and too little time playing outdoors, Rika says “Yes, because with too much technology usage when young, the brain stays in the survival mode. This is called the sensory development stage, which only when completed sees a child move to emotional and then cognitive developmental stages.”
Rika notes that for example, “It is like you’re looking at a picture of a piece of cheese cake, you will never know how it tastes and smells from its picture. You need to taste and smell it to build references in your brain. Your reference system helps you later on in life, to relate to what you see and this builds perception.”
“If your stages of development through sensory developmental stages are hampered, the circuit wiring in the brain can be incomplete and this can result in physical developmental delays in the child such as clumsiness, not being able to hop or balance, low muscle tone, attention deficit, hyper activity or hypo activity (not being very active), a lack of impulse control and more.”
“If one of the sensory development phases are not well developed then a person can experience difficulties coping, be they physical, emotional or cognitive difficulties.” Rika explains that using simple techniques, which incorporate outdoor play and basic movements, “a child can be developed to be able to adapt to changes around them”
The Mind Moves institute poses the questions, “Why do we expect children to sit still when the unfolding blue print (from conception to reaching each millstone of development) is an active process propelled by an unseen driving force called a reflex system. The primitive reflex system uses simple movements to neurologically wire the brain, senses and muscles to communicate effectively with each other.”
Rika notes that movement is where physical development of our sensory reflex system happens and that if it doesn’t happen other aspects of development can’t yet happen correctly.
When asked what advice she has for parents who notice developmental delays in their children, Rika explains that “a good self-help book for parents is Moves that Mend the Mind by Melodie De Jager. This explains what each reflex is with its SOS signal. It indicates the type of behaviour you will spot and if you see these types of behaviours, what exercises and movements will help.”
For teachers with difficult children Rika advises “incorporating more play” She explains that “We at Mind Moves, like to say we rather work on mechanics first before going to medication. There is a place for medication, but we first see if we can fix the mechanics that there is no need for medication.” According to the Mind Moves Institute, “Nature uses the urge to move to help children develop and once they have developed children can control the urge to move.”
However Rika states clearly that “We as Mind Moves instructors, don’t guess we access. So if you need help contact us.”
If you want to get in touch with Rika and the team of Mind Moves instructors here in Namibia take a look at the list of available instructors here : Mind Moves Instructors Namibia
Or if you want more information, have a look at the Mind Moves Institute website here : Mind Moves Institute