Engaging children in physical exercise is one of the things that makes learning active and playful.Engaging children in movement has a positive effect on energy levels, mood and information storage and retrieval.
As a product developer for Jegro, we believe in playful learning. Engaging children in physical exercise is one of the things that makes learning active and playful. That's because movement has a positive effect on children’s blood circulation and heart rate. Consequently, more oxygen goes to key brain areas. Furthermore, the body releases chemicals like dopamine and noradrenaline when making certain movements. These chemicals have a positive effect on energy levels, mood, and information storage and retrieval (Jensen, 2000).
Children need time to process information and let it settle in their long-term memory. The part of the brain that is associated with the processing of information, (the hippocampus) can only process a limited amount of information at a time. The maximum memory capacity of the hippocampus is reached at a certain point – at which time no new learning can take place before the prior information is processed (Jensen, 2000).
Engaging children in movement can give them a break and stimulate the processing of information. A child’s brain retains more information when it is physically and actively involved. Let children stand up and demonstrate concepts or let them walk to various locations in the classroom during lessons to keep them attentive and entertained. This type of active learning is implicit and connects certain information to specific situations and emotions. Emotions play a big role in learning. Memories formed during specific emotional situations are more easily recalled afterwards. Emotions ensure attention, and attention ensures learning and remembering (Sylwester, 1994).
Jensen, E. (2000). Moving with the Brain in Mind. Educational Leadership, 58(3), 34-38.
Sylwester, R. (1994). How Emotions Affect Learning. Educational Leadership, 52(2), 60-65.