Helping Pre-school Children Excel Using PIES
Physical Development in children ages 3 & 4 using martial arts.
PIES? No we’re not talking about yummy pecan, blueberry or apple pie. We are actually talking about Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Social Development of children through martial arts. Get it P…I….E….S…..:)
Children between the ages of 3 and 4-years old are in a very distinct growing stage. They are embarking on new discoveries everyday and learning how to cope with all of the challenges. Their intellect, emotions, physical capabilities, and social competence all are growing at a rapid rate. So fast, that they often overlook what’s important and can hardly tell the difference between right and wrong. RELATED: BENEFITS OF MARTIAL ARTS FOR PRESCHOOL KIDS
That’s where the American Family Martial Arts Tiny Tigers Program comes into play. Our Tiny Tiger program, for ages 3 & 4, was specially designed for the stages of development of 3 and 4-year olds. We collected scientific and psychological resources regarding this age group, and used that information to ensure that our program meets each child’s characteristics and capabilities. RELATED: AGE SPECIFIC CURRICULUM
Since this is a pretty broad topic this article focuses on Physical development.
Tiny Tigers typically have low tone in their arms, legs, and core.
- Wiggle when sitting still because their core is weak, and lose control when their body is moving in multiple directions.
- Drop their arms often when punching or blocking.
- Fall when trying to do more than two kicks at one time; fall when running and jumping; and fall when hoping on one leg.
Goals of karate class at American Family Martial Arts:
- PUNCHING and BLOCKING without dropping their arms.
- KICKING, RUNNING, and HOPPING without falling.
- Demonstrate good control of their core muscles by moving their body in awkward motions such as CRAWLING while maintaining control, and sitting still without wiggling.
So at American Family Martial Arts we focus on game based learning to teach this important skill through the use of drills, lessons and games during our classes. RELATED: GAME BASED LEARNING
Classes are structured with a warm up, which helps kids get the wiggles out and focus on the activity. Next comes a mat chat to let them know what they are going to be learning and doing that day. Drills are next, but they are disguised as games so the students are engaged while learning.
So a skill drill for punching might be
Punch Ball: Students will practice punching by hitting a ball off the top of a wavemaster to an instructor.
Don’t Drop the Penny: Students will practice punching by doing multiple punches without dropping the pennies.
During a 10 week testing cycle, each skill is repeated three times and the skills drills are changed up to disguise the repetition.
The students are then tested on their skill and given a stripe if they pass.
And for the end of class -GAMES. For instance punching would be dodge ball which improves arm strength, throwing skills and attention.
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