enormous—word comprehension is immediate and long lasting. The words are
used and learned in context, as opposed to being a mere collection of letters.
This is what promotes emergent literacy and a love of language.
Similarly, if children take on high, low, wide, and narrow body shapes,
they’ll have a much greater understanding of these quantitative concepts—and
opposites—than do children who are merely presented with the words and their
definitions. When they act out the lyrics to “Ten in the Bed” (“There were five in
the bed, and the little one said, ‘Roll over’ . . .”), they can see that five minus one
leaves four. The same understanding—and fascination—results when children
have personal experience with such scientific concepts as gravity, flotation,
evaporation, magnetics, balance and stability, and action and reaction.
Additionally, learning by doing creates more neural networks in the brain
and throughout the body, making the entire body a tool for learning (Hannaford
2005). There is a growing body of research determining that physical activity
activates the brain much more so than doing seatwork. While sitting increases
fatigue and reduces concentration, moderate- to vigorous-intensity movement
feeds oxygen, water, and glucose to the brain, optimizing its performance.
Beyond providing an opportunity for children to “feed” their brain and to
learn by doing, Preschoolers & Kindergartners contributes to cognitive develop-
ment in the following ways:
• These movement experiences offer numerous opportunities for
the children to deal with the concepts of space and shape. Thus
they will be better able to deal with abstract thought. Language,