Val Sabin Action Kids 600:
Action Kids 600 provides a set of interesting, exciting, well-balanced activity plans containing adult-structured or adult-led activities designed to progress and develop children’s physical skills and understanding.
Within each of the activities there are ample opportunities for children to have fun, to explore emotions, and to develop their own ideas.
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Introduction to Action Kids 600
Children enjoy physical activity, and to encourage balanced physical development it is important for a wide variety of movement experiences to be made available to them.
Every practitioner and parent recognises the vital importance of play in a young child’s learning process.
When children enter a pre-school setting they have probably had limited experience of focused or adult-structured activities and will be unaware of the scope offered by an outdoor play space, indoor hall or carpet area.
Certainly, few will have had easy access to stimulating, small and large equipment or apparatus.
Motivation is no problem at this age and children’s natural interest and inquisitiveness will lead them to explore all the possibilities of the environment or equipment, invent new ideas and movements, and practise new patterns of behaviour and skills.
It is the role of the adult to allow these opportunities to take place safely and encourage the build-up of self-confidence and success.
Child Confidence Development
Children must experience this initial confidence-development through individual play, whether planned by the practitioner or initiated by the child, and it is essential they are not hurried through it. However, it is equally important that they are not left too long at this stage of development or they will lose all sense of achievement and purposefulness.
Practitioners will recognise when children in their care are ready to move on to more adult-structured or directed activities and will begin to introduce them at the appropriate time.
From this Physical Development core it is possible to access directly or indirectly over 90% of all the other Early Learning Goals. The practitioner can choose to access and to link to other Early Learning Goals and emphasise certain aspects of the physical for example, to link to number or numeracy. A guide to just some of the possible links are given at the end of each activity plan.
About the Action Kids 600 Manual
For ease of use and to aid in the planning of a broad and balanced physical activity programme the manual has been designed and presented in well defined sections:-
The Practitioners Guide examines the nature of physical development, the importance of physical activity, access for all children, and stages of development. The component parts of physical development are identified and clarified, resources are examined in detail and aspects of safety are addressed.
Understanding the planning involved in creating a balanced session and knowing how to adapt, refine and “layer” activities to suit the ability / stage of development of the child is fully explained and guidelines are offered to enable the effective use of the session plans.
The remaining sections of the manual comprise the 90 Activity plans with their own activity-specific introduction. They are arranged in the following order:-
- Cards 1 – 15 – Spatial Awareness development
- Cards 31 – 45 – Activities leading to games
- Cards 16 – 30 – Activities leading to gymnastics
- Cards 46 – 60 – Activities leading to dance
- Cards 61 – 75 – Parachute games
- Cards 76 – 90 – Responding to sound and music.
Although we do not want to stereotype movements rigidly at this stage of a child’s development, it will be obvious that some activities which focus more on balancing, climbing, travelling in different ways, jumping and turning, fall much more naturally into the area of “gymnastics”.
Similarly, those activities which focus more on manipulation of small pieces of equipment, sending and receiving balls etc. in different ways, travelling with a ball, and aiming activities, are more naturally categorised into the area of “games”.
Warm Up and Cool down
Some warm-up, cool-down, “gymnastic” and “games” activities use action rhymes, percussion or music to extend them or to add interest, but activities leading to dance and responding to sounds and music are contained within separate sections.
They involve balance and stillness, travelling in different ways, jumping and turning, but are set within a creative context which also utilises gesture and mime. Within these sections different stimuli are used to encourage and develop imagination and creativity.
Parachute games are more co-operative, social, sensory, large group activities and form an important part of a young child’s education.
At the end of every activity plan, a list of “Benefits of Action Kids Activities” identifies 6 – 8 ideas for links to Early Learning Goals in all other areas of the Foundation Stage curriculum.
Throughout the manual, there are references to the accompaniment for specific activities. These pieces of music are arranged as 76 tracks on two CD’s and are an integral part of the pack.
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