While Poco a Poco focuses on the EYFS Prime Areas of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Language and Communication, and Preparation for Literacy, Physical Development is a hugely important part of a child’s learning and many of the Poco a Poco activities help support these skills. Here we outline how different types of songs contribute to Physical Development, along with top tips for delivery.
Movement songs are great for helping children become more aware of the space they are in, and how to use it appropriately and safely. It is also a good way of helping children to be more aware of each other, through copying and partnership work. These activities present a safe, supervised environment in which to try out more complex movements, such as balancing, tip toe-ing, and stopping and starting.
Top Tip: Movement songs are a great way to encourage creativity by incorporating children’s ideas into the song, perhaps drawing upon characters in their favourite books to inspire this. For example, asking them to recall how the mouse moves in The Gruffalo then recreating this.
These activities are useful for combining movement and team work, as the songs are only successful if the group move simultaneously. They can also be used to help the children understand forces; physically feeling the differences between these as they move through the activity can embed this very effectively.
Top Tip: Change the words and actions from, “Can we lift the lycra up and down’ to “Can we move the lycra from side to side” and then get the children to suggest other forces to try.
By moving and handling percussion instruments the children will developing their fine motor skills, and also hone their understanding of different speeds within movement, by learning to play fast and slow.
Top tip: Support the development of fine motor skills by ensuring the children alternate the instruments used, and demonstrate the correct way to hold and handle them. For different speeds, ensure the group are all paying attention to the leader and then gradually speed up and slow down all together.
During warm-up songs you can work on coordination and concentration by supporting the group to physically keep a steady beat all throughout the song.
Top Tip: Start by simply clapping or patting along to the song. When the group have accomplished this, advance the exercise by getting the children to hold their right hand into the circle, palm downwards, then place their left hand on top of their right. Keeping their hands in this position, get the children to move both hands together from one knee to the other in time to the music.