• nonconformity to society’s stereotypes;
• ability to wait for rewards;
• self-motivation to do excellent work; and
• a willingness to take risks.
(1992) According to Mary Mayesky,
Adults who work with young children are in an especially crucial position
to foster each child’s creativity. In the day-to-day experiences in early child-
hood settings, as young children actively explore their world, adults’ attitudes
clearly transmit their feelings to the child. A child who meets with unques-
tionable acceptance of her unique approach to the world will feel safe in
expressing her creativity, whatever the activity or situation. (2009, 24)
Toddlers encourages children to find their own ways of responding to chal-
lenges, to be individuals, and to imagine. When you meet their uniqueness with
“unquestionable acceptance,” the children will be better equipped later in their
lives to imagine solutions to problems they face, to feel empathy, and to plan
futures that are full and satisfying.
As Margaret Newell H’Doubler so aptly writes in her classic book, The
Dance and Its Place in Education,
as every child has a right to a box of crayons and certain instruction in the
fundamental principles of the art of drawing, whether there is any chance of
his ever becoming a great artist or not, so every child has a right to know how
to obtain control of his body so that he may use it, to the limit of his abilities,
for the expression of his reactions to life. (1925, 33)
Benefits to Children with Special Needs
All of the benefits previously cited can be applied to children with special needs.
Additionally, coordination, listening skills, conceptual learning, and expressive
ability are just a few of the areas enhanced through regular participation—at
whatever level possible—in movement experiences.
Perhaps of greatest importance, however, is the contribution that move-
ment experiences can make toward the special child’s self-concept. Often