Benefits

9 benefits of the Agile program

  1. Improves brain function and aids the natural process of brain development
    Movement has been discovered to strengthen the basal ganglia, cerebellum (coordinates muscle contraction), and corpus collosum (a fibrous bundle of axons connecting the 2 brain hemispheres). We know that the left side of the brain controls the right side of your body, so when you move the opposite hands and legs you are stimulating your brain to develop more neural pathways that ultimately help the brain function better.

    It also increases the production of neurotrophins, the natural neural growth factor between the two brain hemispheres (Lyons) and increases myelination. Myelination is an important process for brain development as it helps with better brain function. As the myelin layer gets thicker, the transmission of information within the body gets faster and thereby improves brain functions. (Diamond and Hopson).

    While the left brain has a growth spurt after age 7, the right brain is in growth mode from 4 ½ to 7 years of age. Therefore, it is critical to involve creativity and movement in all activities in these early years. Thus Movement is now realized to be not only helpful but essential for increasing learning, developing creative thought and a high level of reasoning ( Carla Hannaford Ph.D).
  2. Sensory awareness
    Children perceive the world through their senses. Developing sensory awareness leads to a greater understanding of themselves and their surroundings. It strengthens the imaginative powers and increases abilities to experience life with greater meaning. Learning is facilitated when a child's entire body is involved. All senses are engaged when children explore different aspects of movement. The kinaesthetic sense increases as children literally feel the shapes and actions that their bodies are making. Visually, children respond to the images they see as well as the images they create. The auditory sense is stimulated as children respond to sounds (and music) they make or hear. Tactile experiences include running with bare feet, performing specific floor movements, or movements like swirling a scarf. These complete sensory experiences help children to understand, imbibe and retain concepts to the fullest extent possible.
  3. Body awareness
    Children need to have a better mental picture of their own body. Controlling their own bodies is the first type of control children have over themselves. It is the first step toward developing internal control and self-discipline. Body awareness is an essential part of becoming aware of our feelings, because they exist in our minds AND bodies. When we feel angry or excited, we feel it in our whole self. Body awareness is also important in the development of spatial orientation. Children who do not perceive the space of their own bodies may frequently misjudge distances or bump into things. It also helps with the development of motor skills. Agile Kids focuses on body awareness, motor fitness, rhythmic skill, strength, flexibility, coordination, endurance, and physical vitality.
  4. Developing a child's problem solving skills, by enhancing imagination, creativity and firing divergent thinking
    Agile Kids lays emphasis on the process and not on the end product. There is no competition, no right or wrong way of moving. This provides a nonjudgmental learning environment, allowing the child to confidently explore different movement answers to the same concept enabling divergent thinking and promoting the understanding that every problem can have multiple creative solutions.
  5. Enhancing team building skills
    The critical skills necessary for purposeful and self-directed living often are rooted in learning to:
    • realize one's own uniqueness,
    • recognize and appreciate the uniqueness of others,
    • express personal feelings,
    • cooperate within a social structure,
    • and ultimately define and create one's self.
    Agile Kids is rich with opportunities to fulfil these kinds of successful experiences. It encourages an interactive environment where children share space as they explore movement together. They move their own way and gradually learn to observe different responses to movement ideas. The possibility of creating movements together becomes more appealing.
  6. Experiencing and expressing emotion
    By incorporating the element of dance drama into the curriculum, the child is exposed to and becomes more comfortable with expressing emotion and also develops sensitivity to the emotions and needs of others.
  7. Health and Fitness
    An increased strength, stamina and flexibility are happy after effects of Agile Kids. And with today's inactive lifestyle, developing free movers early on has a list of valuable health benefits in the future.
  8. Reinforcing concepts already learned in school
    The program promotes Kinaesthetic learning and reinforces the concepts of Math, EVS and English already being learnt in school. For eg: children use creative movement to depict the water cycle, learn about outer space, understand fractions, figure out preposition etc. The learning is more complete due to the added physical dimension of the education.
  9. Beneficial to children with special needs as well
    Children with special needs benefit greatly from this program as they can participate at their own level and ability. There is no rigid structure that they would find difficult to adapt to and the benefits are exponential.