Movement and exercise are vital for young children. Not only are movement and exercise fundamental for young children’s optimum brain development and overall emotional well-being, young children’s attitude to physical activity and movement are formed in their early years and influenced by the grown-ups around them.
Plus, movement and exercise helps young children work off excess energy!
So I am excited to be the first to tell you about Hopperz: fun and fitness classes for children aged 18 months – 4 years and their grown-ups which are starting in September in Horfield!
Hopperz will be held on Monday’s and Fridays at 10 – 10.45am at the United Reformed Church Horfield (on the junction of Muller Road and Downend Road). Classes run for 45 minutes and will be held on a drop-in basis in term-time; pre-booking is not necessary. Classes will be held on a pre-bookable or drop in basis (if spaces available).
Local mum, Louisa Tickner-Jenkins, is the founder of Hopperz and has over 20 years experience working in the early years sector and holds a clear DBS and Paediatric First Aid. Louisa’s Early Years Education Degree specialised in young children’s movement and health.
Louisa works from the premise that for children to achieve cognitive development they must first develop motor skills which are fundamental for supporting children to be ‘school ready’ known as ‘neuromotor readiness’ (Goddard Blythe 2012). This describes a range of physical skills including control of balance, posture and coordination which are essential to support the ability to sit still, coordinate the hand and eyes when writing, control eye movements needed in reading, and body control needed to participate in PE and playground games.
Louisa explains: “Hopperz classes encourage children to develop their physical co-ordination which supports their growing self-confidence. Children also develop their listening skills and benefit from the social interaction the classes offer. The sessions provide an opportunity for children to be active and so younger children need to be steady on their feet.”
Classes will follow a loose structure of warm-up, a mixture of games and movement which support overall co-ordination, listening skills and aspects of Fundamental Movement Skills, for example, jumping.
Each week there will be a focus activity based on a Fundamental Movement Skill, for example rolling or catching a ball, which has several advantages, such as supporting children’s ability to track using their eyes. There will also be parachute games which help children develop their listening skills, co-ordination and having fun, always followed by some cool down time which helps children to come back to a calm place of quiet.
There will be specific games and activities for children to enjoy every week which will help build familiarity and help them practice and build on their skills, along with lots of variety to keep sessions interesting and stimulating.
Classes are fully interactive for both children and their grown-ups so expect to enjoy some fun and fitness yourself!
If you would like more information about Hopperz, you can check out the Hopperz website or contact Louisa by phoning 07878507728 / 0117 985 2084 or emailing her on firstname.lastname@example.org