|Babies||Walkers to 2||2s to 3s||3s to 4s|
Overview and benefit
This activity uses children’s imaginations, combined with some physical moves, to explore different things you might do in a garden. Children pretend to be working in the garden, caring for the plants, with an accompanying sound track. The physical moves in this activity are designed to improve their co-ordination and muscle control. Each movement has been given a description which fits into the imaginary scenario so that children can better understand and remember the movement. The emphasis is on improving the coordinating and control of each movement, developing their gross motor skills. There are lots of movements which cross the body or which require children to co-ordinate their arms or legs. Young children struggle with this but it is great for brain integration as it requires them to use both the left and right sides of their brain at once. There are also lots of movements which, when done slowly and carefully, promote balance and strength. They will also understand a little more about different jobs in garden which you do when growing plants.
- Imagination workout track
Up to three weeks
How it works
Children learn to do the movement routine whilst imagining they are doing different activities.
There are 2 versions of the track. The actions for both versions are identical, however the first version (wordy) has more cues and prompts regarding the movements and is therefore easier for the instructor to use if they are unfamiliar with the activity. However, once you are familiar with the actions, you might prefer to be more in control and be the one leading the activity, in which case choose the second version (simple). This will allow you to be more responsive to your children and adapt your commentary to the needs of each class.
What to do in the class
Before doing the garden imagination workout, explain that you will be going into Ralph’s garden to do some work and that there is lots to do as Ralph likes to grow plants and had is own veg patch. Ask the children what kinds of jobs they might have to do. Perhaps draw out of you discovery box some things you might need, e.g. a small trowel, a packet of seeds, a watering can. Explain to the parents that as well as learning about gardening this activity also improves the children’s motor skills and co-ordination
Ensure the children are standing in a circle with enough space for them to spread out their arms without touching each other. All the movements should be done on the spot. If the children move around they wont be able to focus on doing the required movement.
Begin by setting the scene and getting the children to prepare for their visit, e.g put on their boots and coats. Now follow the script and instructions below ensuring all the children are able to watch you perform the movements and are joining in. Each movement is described on the track and then sufficient time is given for you to encourage them to participate. Change the movement when instructed to on the track. But don’t leave any gaps between movements. Keep the existing movement going until the next one has been described and everyone is ready and watching you do the next one, or just get the children to march on the spot. Keep the movements precise and in time with the beat as much as possible.
Adaptations for older/younger children
This element can be used successfully with Walkers to Four classes and Two to Four classes
What to do in a nursery setting
No adaptation is necessary.
It’s important to explain to parents before you start that this activity is all about big cross body movements which are good for developing the connections across the brain through co-ordination. Make your actions really exaggerated so the children find it easier to follow.