At our Mud Pies Nature Playgroups this term we have been exploring child development through the art of weaving.
Weaving, threading and sewing requires strong finger muscles and good coordination. In support of their fine motor development, children first need to strengthen their gross motor systems, building core muscles and shoulder girdles to be able to keep their arms stable. For example, climbing, crawling and even madly shaking the egg shakers helps build the muscles children need to pinch a needle in their fingers and hold it still while they thread a needle. Practising using our finger muscles like this helps children to pick up and move small objects, take things apart and put things together, and later it will help them grip and move a pencil well when they write.
Weaving is also great for learning about patterns. Patterns help us see order in chaos. They help us understand the way the world works and helps us to predict what comes next. There are patterns you may use at home like a bedtime routine. We have patterns at Mud Pies like our greeting songs or how we setup the stations. Patterns can help us understand people and how to interact with each other, like using manners. We can find patterns in nature to understand the world, the changes of seasons, understanding time, moving through a space and finding animals or plants. Working together with patterns and weaving is a great way to introduce vocabulary that helps us understand how we move our bodies and objects through a space.
Weaving also requires coordination. When children wind their hands and arms across their midline repeatedly when weaving, it helps the two hemispheres of their brain
work together. This winding activity also crosses the centre of the stick, which requires children to think about where the stick is, where the wool is, where their hands are and where their bodies are. This requires bilateral organisation and needs both sides of the brain to communicate with each other. This link between the two hemispheres of our brain helps both sides of our body move in coordination together. It helps us crawl, walk, ride a bike and even read when our eyes look from the left to the right. It helps to synchronise fine and gross motor skills.
Mud Pies Nature Playgroups are designed for children aged between 1 to 5. They
are run on a fortnightly basis at various locations around Perth. Mud Pies Grove can also travel to early learning centres and schools for teaching and learning inspiration.
If you would like to join a Mud Pies Nature Playgroup or would like more information about Educated by Nature, please visit our website or give us a call on 9389 4070. You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.