Q: What do you hope to achieve with MoovKids?

A: I hope to get children moving in the early years because of the life-changing effects that it can have. By supporting parents, teachers and sports coaches with teaching purposeful movement I hope to reach children worldwide.

My goal is to remind all adults, no matter their role, of the importance of engaging children in a wide variety of movement activities and the many benefits of doing so. There is an increase in the number of children with learning and self-regulation difficulties now, as well as an increase in obesity and diabetes in children. Young children are spending less and less time moving outdoors. The intensity of movement when they are outdoors is not as vigorous as it should be. Many children are not burning enough daily calories through movement. Exercise supports regular sleep patterns, prevents mood swings, gives opportunity for social interaction, and the chance to experience different types of movement. Short periods of outdoor play, especially if the level of exercise is mostly passive, is no longer enough. Screen time and sedentary behaviour is having an adverse effect on children. This imprints a way of life that is not conducive to their wellbeing now, nor in the future.

Through workshops and speaking engagements I hope to help people understand that movement is something that has to be done in order for natural, holistic development to take place. No matter what century it is, children will always need to move. Healthy brain development, all-round body coordination and physical self confidence are a crucial part of the foundation that will see a child through life. Movement and exposure to a wide variety of movement must happen in the early years when their brains are optimised for learning. Screen expertise should come after the development of the fundamental movement skills. This is the natural progression and the importance and value of movement will never change.

It is the responsibility of parents to move with their children at home and outdoors. Kindergarten directors need to ensure a skill-focused movement program is in place that is taught well and taught often. Coaches and physical education teachers need to be sure that the fundamental movement skills are supported through correct teaching and frequent practice.

In conclusion, I say that movement has everything to do with learning. If this is not supported in the crucial early-years period, a child is already at a disadvantage in life.

Through workshops I would like to help teachers and coaches become proficient with teaching the basic movement skills that will also have a meaningful effect on later learning. MoovKids’ innovative activities support the development of the gross motor skills, stability skills and body and spatial awareness. By using the MoovKids resource, adults have activities at their fingertips. Through my instructional videos, I hope that adults will be inspired to get children moving correctly and in a fun way – and in doing so – teach children the importance of moving well and often.

Darlene Koskinen