When rain is in the forecast, teachers (and parents) collectively groan. Children need recess! Children love recess! On a rainy day like today, teachers are constantly looking outside, checking to see if the rain will dampen their outdoor play time.
Neuroscientists are in agreement that there is a strong connection between movement and cognition. The part of the brain that coordinates motor activity is the cerebellum. Interestingly, while the cerebellum is only one-tenth of the brain’s capacity, it actually contains half of the brain’s neurons. What does this mean? The information being passed to and from the cerebellum influences much of the rest of the brain. Using fMRI technology, research has shown that physical activity stimulates the brain; exercise nourishes the brain.
So, what to do on a rainy day when we cannot utilize the outdoor playground? First, we make use of our full-sized gymnasium. With a variety of PE equipment, children’s imagination, and 5000 square feet of running space, our children are certainly getting their exercise! Also, on a smaller scale, and more often throughout the day, children engage in movement activities to “get their wiggles out.” Any day, but particularly on rainy days, a stroll down the hallway showcases children dancing, jumping, stretching, and even pretending to be on a roller coaster.
Our brains are being stimulated and primed – rainy days won’t stop us! As for the rainy weekend ahead, here are some ideas for you to do at home:
In any case, enjoy time with the children, indoors or outdoors, and remember that even on a rainy day, there are plenty of ways to get those wiggles out!