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#2 - You all know we love a good story...
This week we have been thinking about the evolution of our story themed sessions and how and why they came about. If we cast our minds back as far as they will go, one of the first stories we adapted was the classic We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. From that moment, we haven't looked back.
You will usually find us on the story trail at our Cubs sessions on a Saturday morning or with our Nursery sessions during the week and very often our Early Years PE sessions. We even delve into the story book cupboard (my rucksack) with our Year 1s and 2s and it is met with as much enthusiasm as when they were 3, 4, 5 years younger (they might act cool on the outside but trust me, they all love pretend splashing in muddy puddles, or pretending to drive a racing car).
But why is it so important for children to hear storytelling?
First of all, we facilitate the children to bring the story to life; they can visualise the tall trees we are driving past or the river rapids that we are swimming down which creates that visual imagination for them to be able to relate to. This in turn encourages purposeful discussion because the children are able to describe it themselves afterwards. By immersing themselves so fully in a 'story adventure', our children don't even realise the skills that they are learning. Throughout our sessions, we constantly support cross-curricular connections to be made; not just in terms of multi-sport transferable skills but also between school subjects.
Ultimately, we all love listening to a good story and it is no different for our children. A great story keeps children engaged and then subsequently increases their enthusiasm for reading and learning. If only it was as easy as that, just read loads of good stories and hey presto, the children will love reading and love learning… it may not be the whole story but it has been shown to inspire learners so whatever we can do to aid this process the better. The way we deliver our sessions appeals to different learner types, allowing all children to engage with stories in their own, unique way.
So it just leaves us to say…
If you go down to Roar Stars today,
You're sure of a big surprise,
If you go down to Roar Stars today,
You'll never believe your eyes.
#1 - Giving Children a ROARING Start in Sport: Why are Early Years experiences so important?
This week we have been thinking about the mind-blowing changes that happen in our little ones’ brains before they even turn five! Did you know a child is born with 100 billion brain cells and 50 trillion connections? Or that a three year old child has twice as many connections as an adult? If these are not used, they are wasted and by the time a child is five years old, 90% of the brain connections are fully formed.
Now this is why the early years are so crucial in the development of the brain, as there will never be another time in their lives where their experiences and opportunities will hold greater importance or impact them reaching their full potential.
So what can we do to support this?
Learning through play is fundamentally how children learn best; they engage better, maintain concentration for longer and relate their learning to real life through their play. At Roar Stars, our key ethos is fun so that we can guarantee our children are always happy and learning. Sessions are built around the interests of the children and themed learning makes it even more exciting to be part of!
As well as being important for the physical development and mood enhancement of our children, movement and exercise are also crucial to stimulate brain growth and encourage essential brain connections to take place. This is what we do at Roar Stars… we move a lot! Walking, skipping, jumping, running, tiptoeing, dancing, climbing… you name it, we do it (and Mummy and Daddy, even Nanny and Grandad, can join in too!).
Developing the vocabulary of our young people is a job that we must embrace; using rich vocabulary to help them better understand the world around them is key to assisting children in this area. At Roar Stars, our imaginative sessions engage children and take them on a vocabulary-rich adventure… maybe it is carefully navigating whilst on a quest to find Lenny the Lion or discovering new delights as we delve into the deep jungle!
As the wise Dr Seuss once said… “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Stories and books can take children on an adventure without leaving the room; exploring these and discussing them also extends children’s learning. One of our favourite things to do at Roar Stars is to have a story-themed session; once you’ve been on a Bear Hunt with us, you’ll never go for a walk in the woods in the same way again… well at least I don’t anyway!
Music engages all areas of the brain and stimulates multi-layered brain function; using rhyme, rhythm and repetition in music and songs is particularly important for children. At Roar Stars, we always start our youngest group session with a song and you can be sure that our children love to sing along!
So tell me again why it’s so important?
Children’s brain development ultimately holds the key to their future… these early years have an everlasting impact on our little ones. By nourishing our children’s brains, we are also developing their lifetime potential. So playing an imagination game, going for a walk, singing a song, reading a book (the things we do every day!) or even coming to Roar Stars are helping our little ones prepare for their future… and what could be more important than that?