Running. Climbing. Crawling. Slipping. Sliding. We’ve come to realise that despite the draw of modern technology, given the chance, kids just want to be kids! Phew! We breathed a huge sigh of relief too.

Kids are amazing! Aren’t they? And we should know….we were all one too! We have been on a bit of a learning journey to find out more about how we and they (all of us) develop(ed). We want the trail to e the best around. Fun….but also serve a purpose and harness children’s development.

We’ve teamed up with Hannah O’Donnell, Early Years teacher who specialises in the role of outdoor physical movement and cognitive development of young children. She researches the importance of Play to ensure that children thrive later on in life. That they are able to reach their potential both academically and physically. We know that getting outdoors and running is great for our health but do we really know how fundamentally essential it is to ensure our little ones get the best possible start in life.

Hannah will be running 4 sessions on Thursday afternoons that tackle everything we should know and be doing to help our kids along! These look at:

Bilateral Co-ordination – Using both sides of the body in the same and different way. Looking at movement that aligns the two sides of the brain.

Crossing the Midline – Looking at opportunities to develop movement from one side of the body and brain to the other. This helps with skills like reading – as we track with our eyes left to right, and even following instructions – as you hear on one side and process to another for action such as writing etc.

Strength and Balance – Encouraging strength through training muscles to develop and also be flexible in key areas. This has a knock on effect to help with all sorts of development like sitting effectively (not in a W position) which in turn helps with getting ready for writing etc.
Balance links to strength as you need strength to maintain balance – (standing or sitting) for all sorts of skills – from riding a bike, walking, buttoning up your coat etc..

Proprioception – A big word for basic body awareness! how the joints and muscles send messages to the brain to co-ordinate movements. It’s to do with the direction/ position and location of the body. It involves something called the vestibular system and allows us to stay upright and know how quickly we are moving – all vital skills.

Attend as many sessions as you can! Learn the play children need, the language you can use to encourage them to take safe risks, feel empowered as a parent or carer and ask as many questions as you like!

Yes it’s November but everyone needs fresh air (118 mins according to the NHS guidelines) there is no wrong weather …. just the wrong clothes!! So wrap up warm, bring a change of clothing and come have some fun!