CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For many parents, kids moving around is natural. We're talking the high-speed, bouncing around the room, on-the-go kind of moving around.
"Being active, wiggly, fidgety in their seat, is very typical of young children," said Benita Flores-Munoz, associate professor of child development at Del Mar College. "Probably all the way to ages five and six."
If you peek inside a preschool classroom, you might witness some controlled chaos. Lots of action, but lots of learning as well. Flores-Munoz said kids don't have to be at a desk for hours at a time.
"There are so many ways to integrate lessons like shapes and the alphabet into games that help children move," Flores-Munoz said.
Multiple studies have shown that kids, especially at the preschool age, should not be expected to sit still for extended periods.
"Toddlers and preschoolers, all young children, need to move," Flores-Munoz said. "They need daily activity."
This daily activity stimulates creativity and facilitates learning.
"And so when they come back in they're actually better learners," Flores-Munoz said. "Now they're ready to focus and pay attention."
The American Academy of Pediatrics says kids should get at least one hour of physical activity per day.
"Ideally outdoors where they can get that dose of vitamin D," Flores-Munoz said.
Structured activity like sports and artistic lessons are good, however...
"They need some downtime when they can just do what they want to do, without rules," Flores-Munoz said. "Running when they want to run, throwing a ball when they want to throw a ball."
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