As parents, don’t we all wish we can gaze into a crystal ball to see our children’s future and plan for them accordingly? Unfortunately, we’re unable to do that… yet.
There has been increasing research in recent years showing how a child’s developmental milestones and motor skills at 4 years old can potentially predict a child’s intelligence. Studies involving neuro-imaging have found that increased physical activity promotes the formation of grey matter in the brain.
Parents today are highly educated and are well-informed about the importance of milestones. However, their understanding of milestones may be too focused on those that are visible and physical – for example, the child is able to sit on his or her own at 6 months of age, stand assisted at 9 months of age, walk assisted at 12 months of age and speak at 18 months of age.
While watching their child achieve these milestones often fill parents with joy and pride, they may not realise the correlation of these physical milestones to cognitive abilities!
According to research from University Medical Centre Groningen, researcher Dr A. Ghassabian found that motor and cognitive development are interrelated for children who are 4 years old. In this study, it was clinically evidenced that motor development in infancy, notably the age to stand assisted, is directly related to cognitive function.
What a child displays in developmental milestones are often representative of what the brain has developed. For example, when a child stands naturally at 9 months old, it tells us that the brain has gained a certain level of development in vestibular system, visual and auditory system, anti-gravity, balance, stability, muscle tone and cognitive system. Hence, the developmental milestones are really the windows to the brain.
Dr Victoria Leong, Asst Prof of Psychology (NTU) shared,
“During early brain development, neural circuits that support the baby’s senses (hearing, seeing, etc.) and motor action develop first. More complex circuits that subserve cognition and language build on these early sensorimotor pathways when they develop later. Therefore, although good motor development does not guarantee high intelligence, poor motor development may compromise aspects of healthy cognitive development.”
Babies and children need lots of movement and interaction with people during development. In today’s modern lifestyle, meeting developmental milestones is no longer a natural progression of growth.
We are blessed with a comfortable sedentary lifestyle, entertainment, convenience foods and smart gadgets. Unfortunately, these unnatural tools deprive the brain of natural experiences and affect how the brain develops. This is when we see children having difficulty or requiring extra efforts to reach milestones.
On the other hand, to develop optimally, is more than just movement and experiences. There are as many as 600 points of observable milestones from birth to 5 years old to be achieved.
Various types of neurological age-appropriate activities and experiences are required to help lay the neural pathways properly so that the brain can function seamlessly with multiple tasks. When all of these milestones are achieved, the brain is integrated to perform optimally.
Shee Hock Ai Ling, the director of KindyROO Singapore Pte Ltd and a practitioner in sensory-motor discipline shared,
“It is not all about meeting developmental milestones or participating in sensory-motor activities. It is about understanding the story behind their individual developmental milestones and taking actions early. To us, milestones provide lots of insight into the brain to prepare for optimal learning. Or in researchers’ words, prepare them for ‘intelligence’.”
This is why in KindyROO, not only do they provide scientifically-researched activities for children, all the trainers are trained to monitor every child’s development and piece the puzzles together.
Their philosophy is to help all children develop their best neurological abilities to pursue their dreams and not let any hiccups hold them back.
Photo credit: KindyROO Facebook
KindyROO is a child development programme that provides weekly fun sensory-movement activities to help babies and children achieve their developmental milestones and lay foundation for optimal learning.
Their holistic programme comprises sensory stimulation and movements to lay the neural pathways for babies and children from 6 weeks old to 6 years old. KindyROO also runs a daily playgroup programme for children between 18 – 36 months.
Find out more about KindyROO (kindyroo.com.sg).
This post is brought to you by KindyROO.
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