Your child is starting school or has started school and looks like a zombie when you collect them. Instinct suggests: cull activities and let them rest. But is that really always the best course of action?
To answer that, here is an open letter from Paul, one of our senior business owners (and a very experienced – not old 😉 – coach).
Every year, parents of pre-school children query whether or not to continue with Enjoy-a-Ball when their children start school.
It’s a period of great change and uncertainty for children, and some stability in their routine can be a huge help and comfort to them.
Children need to continue to be physically active despite any concerns that parents may have regarding their tiredness or energy levels. And yes, they may be tearful, tired and irritable after a day at school, but having fun @Enjoy-a-Ball will boost all those feel-good brain chemicals, much more so than slumping on a couch in front of the telly 😕
And if you are still not convinced it is worth your while to drag yourself and your kiddo out of the house after a long day at work and school, have a look at this list of awesome benefits of making the effort to work on those physical and sporting skills.
Increased physical and mental stamina / endurance (Reminds me of that old saying – the more you do, the more you can do):
When it comes to your brain, working your body’s muscles can actually benefit your grey matter. Mind and body stamina are intricately and intimately connected, that is why physical activity can exercise and strengthen not only your physical muscles, but also your mental ones.
In terms of you and your child – exercise can help your child focus and stay on task. So besides making memories stickier (refer to Boost memory below), you also get improved concentration. Just what you need for all those numbers and phonics being discussed at school.
The part of the brain that responds strongly to aerobic exercise is the hippocampus. Well-controlled (should maybe read: “Not in a scary lab… with subjects strapped to either beds / treadmills!!”) experiments in children, adults and the elderly show that this brain structure grows as people get fitter. Since the hippocampus is at the core of the brain’s learning and memory systems, this finding partly explains the memory-boosting effects of improved cardiovascular fitness.
Conclusion – a child who is active has improved memory.
Improved mental health
Love it or hate it, bouts of physical activity can have potent effects on your mood. The same applies to your child.
Now for the science bit:
The runner’s high – that feeling of elation that follows intense exercise – is real. Even mice get it. It may not be due to an “endorphin rush”, though. Levels of the body’s homemade opiate do rise in the bloodstream, but it’s not clear how much endorphin actually gets into the brain. Instead, recent evidence points to a pleasurable and pain-killing firing of the endocannabinoid system: the psychoactive receptor of cannabis.
(And it is completely 100% legal and seriously good for you.)
PE at school
We also know that in some schools, children don’t receive the required amount, or indeed, standard of PE that they need. And this is not the fault of schools or teachers, it is just a fact of life. There is just so much that has to be crammed into a school day.
Enjoy-a-Ball helps to fill that gap and allows children to take advantage of all the benefits of a multi sports programme.
In conclusion. My words of wisdom are: Wherever possible, continue with Enjoy-a-Ball for at least the first term and then review things at that time if necessary.
What I’d also say is that I’ve found those wishing to come back once P1 or Reception has started, are very often left disappointed as they find classes are full.
Don’t miss out folks. Sign up, give your child three months of skill building at Enjoy-a-Ball, where kids are taught multi-sport skills in small classes, and then make a decision.
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