Is it possible for kids to develop skills in both art and physical movement at the same time?
On a recent autumn weekend, my lucky kids were the first to participate in the Art and Movement class at Toronto’s Fitfix Junior. Emily Dalton is the engaging instructor and creator of this innovative program.
She started by having the kids warm up to Katy Perry’s song, “Firework,” which is a big favourite with my 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son. Within seconds, I knew my kids were hooked as I watched them mirror Emily’s spirited choreography as she belted out the lyrics.
Next, Emily led them in some stretching and fun ball work. She constantly mixed it up, interspersing imagination and improv games with the exercises. Then they were back on their feet, bouncing and chasing the balls around and having a great time trying to balance on them.
At this point, around the 20-minute mark, my daughter mouthed to me: “I’m loving it!”
And that was before they started painting! Emily had hung up big sheets of paper on the wall and the kids were allowed to paint anything they wanted.
Taking breaks from painting every so often, Emily had them act out imaginative movements inspired by what they had created, such as pretending to be elephants, cheetahs, monkeys and even antelopes.
They finished things up with some more stretching which is when I heard our little guy say to Emily: “I’m over.”
I was really impressed with the class. It worked the kids’ creative muscles just as much as their physical skills. And it was seamless for them; they did not distinguish between the physical activity and the creativity. It was all just fun. And they can’t wait until next time.
And as a mom I love the fact that we’re able to get two extra-curricular activities for the price of one and all in one hour!
This is exactly the kind of activity we need more of. Programs that teach kids how to express themselves artistically while they learn how to move.