New born babies can barely lift their heads due to under developed muscles. The hands of a newborn are tightly grasped initially, however eventually it becomes a purposeful activity to reach out and grab things making their hands open for exploration. Growing up as the muscles develop; children are able to sit, stand, crawl and walk. These simple activities that children perform are working on strengthening the muscles of the body enhancing the gross motor skills and further the fine motor skills.
Purposeful activity also ropes in neural connections and works on refining children’s activity through reiteration and practice. This process of establishing neural connections is called myelination. The process of myelination is associated to achieving developmental milestones from head to toe, beginning from the larger muscles to the finer complex ones. The process begins with the head paving way down the body centred along the spinal cord. An untiring effort is put in by the child making the activities unconscious allowing the brain to further process other information.
All of us would now agree that – All movement is good movement for the overall development of a child not only physical but mental as well. Climbing, jumping, swinging, running, hanging and similar high energy activities are an essential component of strengthening the core muscles of the body. These are all vital precursors for further development of gross and fine motor skills.
However with the advent of the swipe technology while using touch screen the strengthening of the index finger is hampered leading to under developed muscles of the hand. While swiping, children are missing out on the chance to practise the finger grip. This hinders the development of fine motor skills making kids unable to accomplish simple tasks such as holding a pencil or using scissors.
Monkey bars are a simple yet great tool for strengthening the muscles of the hand and in turn the fine motor skills in children. While children navigate from one bar to another they sharpen their hand eye coordination, moving through they set newer challenges for themselves like swinging with one hand, skipping a bar and turning upside down helping them strengthen their core muscles. Engaging in active movement activities like those of hanging on monkey bars, develop a strong coordination between the mind and body training the body for complex activities.
Monkey bars help strengthening of the muscles of the hand and gripping on the bars strengthens the finger grip. The fine grip enables children improvise learning abilities by learning to hold a pencil, a good handwriting, good hold of a paint brush for limitless imagination and scissors for creative craft.
Needless to say children build self confidence. The hard work and perseverance needed to move from one end to another teaches them life skills to be prepared to overcome adversity in life.
Get going ………… the playgrounds are calling.