Advancement in technology impacts the lives of children who spend most of their time on electronic devices and have lesser opportunity to move their bodies. This results in the children being less physically active and leads to multiple learning difficulties and disabilities.
Harvard Little NeuroGym™ Gifted is a fun and fitness programme that aims to stimulate brain development and improve social communication between the brain hemispheres. It integrates the essence of occupational therapy, gymnastics and confidence circuits, and is adjusted to the individual abilities of children from 18 months to 6+ years old.
The structured developmental curriculum makes use of exclusive equipment, and specially-trained facilitators weaving through brain & body fundamentals:
- Gross Motor Skill
- Sensory Motor Integration
- Cognitive and Language Development
- Social and Emotional Development
Harvard Little NeuroGym™ Gifted engages children through a variety of creative activities and imaginary games. Movements such as rolling, kicking, hopping, kneeling, running, throwing and crawling, regulate and network the nervous system by organising and utilising internal and external stimuli.
These activities will improve communication between the brain hemispheres and improve sensory-motor integration. Improved sensory-motor integration promotes physical, cognitive, neuromuscular and body awareness capabilities, which are essential for effective learning.
Besides benefiting the child’s physical, sensory-motor and brain development, Harvard Little NeuroGym™ Gifted assists in improving attention, confidence, resilience, social- communication, leadership and teamwork skills – all while they are having fun! It also strengthens underlying learning skills essential for effective learning and is also used with combination with intervention strategies to overcome learning difficulties.
For children who:
- seek a good head-start in learning and brain development
- want to acquire a higher level of confidence, resilience, and socialisation and teamwork abilities
- need social-emotional, communication or/and behavioural enhancement
- need enhancement with gross motor movements, sensory-motor integration, motor-planning and balance
BENEFITS OF THE PROGRAMME
Physical development is the process whereby children gain control of their movements.
Children now are less physically active compared to those in the past due to the large amount of time they spend on school work, tuition and electronic devices like the handheld games, computer and television.
This lack of physical play in young children has led to an increase in upper extremity weakness, lack of postural control and back problems in children.
Physical delay can affect other areas of a child’s development:
- Lack of Self-Esteem
Children may lack confidence and have low self-esteem if they are unable to accomplish certain tasks/activities which their peers are able to.
- Lack of Independence
Children who lack physical skills may rely on adult assistance instead of learning to be independent.
- Difficulty in Building Relationships
Children may miss out on opportunities to make friends if they are unable to play alongside other children.
- Lack of Stimulation
Children with developmental delay may be less stimulated due to their limitations, which may lead to a delay in their cognitive development.
NeuroGym™ Gifted aims to enhance the child’s co-ordination, body awareness and physical motor development through the activities facilitated in the sessions.
Social-emotional development involves the ability to form close, secure relationships and to experience, regulate, and express emotions. Social-emotional growth is affected by a variety of factors, such as an individual’s unique biology and temperament, as well as life experiences.
When children feel good about themselves, have positive relationships with others, and know how to regulate their emotions, they are more likely to:
- succeed in group situations, such as school or community settings.
- be able to concentrate and learn
- effectively communicate their feelings
- develop confidence and self-esteem
- develop attachment with another person
NeuroGym™ Gifted targets to build a child’s confidence and self-esteem through positive encouragement. Each session provides opportunities to develop a child’s social skills through team building activities.
FEATURES OF THE PROGRAMME
The structured developmental curriculum makes use of exclusive equipment, specially-trained facilitators and the 4 fundamentals:
I. Gross Motor Skills
- Involve the larger muscles in the arms, legs, torso etc.
- Include walking, running, jumping, skipping, galloping etc.
- Relate to body awareness, reaction speed, balance and strength
- Give children the ability to move in a variety of ways and control their body, and promote their self-esteem
- Prepare children for the development of fine motor skills that are required for formal school work
II. Sensory Motor Integration
- Lay the foundations for the capacity for learning
- Take a multi-sensory approach to addressing the needs of children who suffer from various developmental delays
- Enable children to acquire motor capabilities and motor planning skills sequentially and successfully
- Enable children to coordinate the movement of the arms, legs, and torso in activities where the whole body is in motion
III. Cognitive and Language Development
- Build up children’s vocabulary and language when they are able to complete a circuit while concurrently doing cognitive / language activities
- Children who have good vocabulary and language ability are able to express themselves freely making it easier to socialise
IV. Social and Emotional Development
- Opportunities are given for children to socialise and mingle with their peers through activities requiring teamwork
- Exposure to children with different characters and behaviour helps them to be emotionally stable and accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses
- Opportunities to lead an activity allow children to build up leadership skills
- Children improve their social skills while communicating with one another