As children spend less time playing outdoors they miss the opportunity to strengthen their bodies, especially their core muscles. Poor core strength can cause poor posture which can negatively affect gross motor and fine motor skills. The very best way to build core muscle strength is through outdoor play. Children need daily opportunities to run, jump, climb, crawl and explore in an unstructured environment.
Children with low core strength struggle to concentrate
They tend to slump with shoulders rolled forward while seated, they have low endurance because it’s harder from them to do physical things as they tire easily, it’s hard for them to sit still for extended periods and they may struggle with balance. All crucial to learning, concentration and self confidence.
It all starts with tummy time
Building core strength starts from birth, this is why “tummy time” is so important. While lying on their tummy and lifting their head, babies strengthen their neck and back muscles. As their muscles develop, they learn to support and turn their head, crawl, roll over, sitting up independently and so their physical development progresses.
Good old fashioned outdoor play
Playing on a jungle gym, swinging, bouncing, climbing a ladder and crawling through a tunnel are all activities that will help your child improve their core strength. Once they begin to feel fitter and more capable, you’ll be amazed at how their confidence grows and how much more they enjoy learning. Suddenly the world becomes a place to explore and experience, rather than to avoid and shy away from.
When to seek professional help
Many parents are under pressure from teachers because their children struggle to concentrate and perform poorly at school. While there are many schools of thought, all children are different and develop at their own pace, if you are worried about your child then it’s important to seek professional advice to get to the bottom of the problem.