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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 8 Introduction numbers, and the alphabet are all abstractions, so this is very nec- essary preparation. • Directionality and spatial awareness are critical to reading and writing abilities. • By using a problem-solving method of instruction with the children, you will also be enhancing their problem-solving capabilities. They are going to discover there will always be more than one way to solve any problem or to meet any challenge. • The children will experience cross-lateral movement, which helps children cross the body’s midline and activates both hemispheres of the brain in a balanced way. Because such movements involve both of the eyes, ears, hands, and feet, as well as core muscles on both sides of the body, they activate both hemispheres and all four lobes of the brain. This means cognitive functioning is heightened and learning becomes easier (Hannaford 2005). • Body image influences a child’s emotional health, learning ability, and intellectual performance. Creative Development Can you imagine a world without creativity and self-expression—not just in the arts, but in science, business and industry, education, and life itself? Can you honestly say you do not find some creativity in each and every preschooler or kindergartner you work with—or that you do not know at least one adult who has lost the ability to express himself or herself, creatively or otherwise? Where does creativity go from the time we are preschoolers and kindergartners to the time we become adults? Is that loss of potential a result of a society and an educational system that fail to emphasize creativity and individuality? Why is creativity important? There are a lot of reasons. However, for young children, creativity means there is no one right answer. This enhances their sense of mastery, which in turn promotes their self-esteem and helps them real- ize they can indeed have some effect on their environment. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL