Hands up if you have a cat as a family pet?
It’s International Cat Day today – a fun day designed to give us all an appreciation of our feline friends and what they mean to us. International Cat Day is a full 24 hours of celebration of one of humanity’s oldest and most beloved pets. The festivities were put together for the first time in 2002 by IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, among other animal rights groups, to celebrate the most popular pet on the planet.
If you have a cat, have you ever watched your pet as he or she makes their way around the garden, tiptoes ever so carefully along the garden fence, and jumps from one piece of garden furniture to the other? Have you ever seen them land on all four feet as they jump from a great height?
Agility, balance and coordination
Cats are amazingly agile creatures, with a fantastic sense of balance and coordination. These are some of the very physical important skills that we like to try and teach our little ones at Learn Play Grow too. Although we can’t promise to send them home with the ability to land on both feet ALL the time.
Agility is a very important skill for kids to learn – it’s the ability to quickly change your direction without losing balance – often at quite a speed. It’s a physical skill that’s closely related to balance and coordination, other important skills we teach during Learn Play Grow activity sessions.
How children learn physical skills
Children are learning how to use their bodies and get around from the minute they realise they can crawl and drag themselves around a room. As they get older, they begin to learn how to judge their reaction times (coordination skills) how to walk (balance) and then how to do it all at the same time – and faster!
Exercise specialists suggest that to help develop speed, agility, coordination and balance, children between the ages of 5 and 8 need to start learning a variety of movement patterns. These include specific arm and leg movements that they learn while they are standing still, along with jumping moves and games that help to promote and improve their spatial awareness. We take all this on board and incorporate it into our sessions.
From this basic foundation, they will start to master specific techniques and adapt them to a particular chosen sport or activity from the ages of about 9-13. With games and active play, rather than organised sport and fitness, children learn to become active for fun, and develop physical skills almost without realising. If they pick up a sport at the same time, the effect is increased as they learn the discipline and focus involved in the sport as well as improving physical skills all the time.
Each of our fun sessions for kids has a specific focus on a set of physical skills, and they cover:
- Co-ordination and quick movement
- Balance and agility
- Hand to eye co-ordination and aiming.
We may not be able to teach your little ones how to walk along a fence without falling off but with a little help from our coaches, we’ll help them develop the physical skills they need to be healthy, fit and active.