Physical activities and intellectual development of children

Let the children have the freedom and see how their creativity takes over.

Through regular physical activities during this lockdown period, my nieces and nephews have gained so much confidence, discipline, mental strength and the meaning of perseverance.

Every morning, our main priorities are to have fun, be safe and challenge ourselves physically. Of course, that’s what majority of children’s sports and activities should include. And that is what we all try to focus on main learning points as, improve on certain skills and develop physically.

But have we ever considered involving things like their cognitive development, expressiveness, logical reasoning, thinking and creativeness among the top of the priority list along with skills and physical development? Or even higher than those? I doubt that. No lies there.

Even I did the same as well. When I started working with children at the grassroots level, my session plans were focused on skills and technical development. Children had to be fit in to those session. And you know how it went? Sometimes good, but most of the time the objectives and outcomes were miles apart.

That’s how my experience with Magic Bus helped me shaped my way of working with children. Coaching gave way for mentoring and facilitating, and holistic development started going hand in hand with skills and physical development.

After that, main thing I did in every sessions was to let them understand where the playing area (safe zone) is, and the Dos and Don’ts. Let the children have the freedom within those boundaries and see how their creativity takes over.

If you ask the children about whether they have learnt those skills and relate it to instances within their play time, they will say yes. Of course, everyone uses these skills. When you move in a space with many others, you’ll subconsciously move around to avoid bumping into others. Everything they do is for a reason. That’s when the session debriefing becomes really important and should focus on the aforementioned skills as well as it’s relation to particular instances in the session.

Isn’t that how we all want our children to learn? Have a well-rounded development that will translate into their adult life. Sports and physical activities not only teaches children about physical development.

It allows creative thinking, skill improvement, mind liberation, cognitive and psychomotor development which can be transferred to their classrooms. But, only if you emphasise those aspects and keep it at the same par with their physical and sport specific skill development.

(The views expressed are the writer’s own.)

First Published:June 1, 2020, 12:47 p.m.