Sports: not just a physical boost for children - it´s great for their minds too.
Anyone with children knows that they have to be active every day. Physical activity stimulates growth and leads to improved physical and emotional health. Current research shows that the importance of this physical activity is stronger than ever. It can certainly relieve stress and some children suffer from stress and anxiety as much as adults do. The last year of inhibited activity for everyone has made us all much more aware of what our children need to be happy and healthy in mind and body.
Getting involved in sports is a rite of passage and helps children develop physical skills, get exercise, learn teamwork, have fun and improve their self esteem and sense of self-worth. Playing sports helps children learn to control their emotions and channel negative feelings in a positive way. It also helps children to develop patience and the understanding that it can take a lot of practice to improve. Playing team sports also gives children a sense of belonging. It helps them make new friends and builds their social circle outside school.
All of this activity goes beyond learning new physical skills: sports help children develop better ways to cope with the highs and lows of life.
Learning to lose – and be good about it – is an important life skill and requires maturity: children learn how to bounce back from disappointment and become resilient to life´s ups and downs. It also helps teach self-discipline – following the rules, accepting decisions and taking directions from the coach. But sport, not just exercise, gives a child more than just physical well-being; it contributes to a child’s development both psychologically and socially. A fit child is more likely to be well-rested and mentally sharp. Even moderate physical activity has been shown to improve a child’s skill at arithmetic, reading, and memorization.
As part of the International Montessori School´s development of curriculum and programmes, we have introduced, for the Elementary class, weekly sessions with a sports coach at the Pueblo Nuevo sports facility. Each week they are introduced to different team sports and gymnastics, as well as learning about health and fitness. We recognise that this is a fundamental part of their learning journey and education and know that not only do the children love it, but it will also benefit and help them develop in a huge variety of different ways.