If you have a Rainbow Rider at Mountain Kids, you can probably tell from watching your preschooler in action that they’re gaining balance, coordination, agility, strength, patience, speed, social skills and more — all while engaging in imaginative play.

What may not be as readily apparent is just how much is going on in their brain while they’re having fun.

The fact is, your child is forming abundant neural pathways as a result of the physical activities involved in gymnastics. These mental connections will benefit them in every aspect of their growth — especially their ability to learn.

The Connection Between Learning and Play

Learning requires your child’s brain and body to work together. As information is processed by your child’s brain, it must then be responded to by the body with the appropriate outcome of movement (whether that is a forward roll, or holding a pencil to form letters!)

According to authors Jill Johnstone and Molly Ramon in their book Why Do Kids Need Perceptual-Motor Experiences: An Evidence-Based Guide to Building Physical and Cognitive Skills, “Physical activity builds neural pathways—the connections by which information travels through the brain—and a child whose brain has more neural pathways will be able to learn more easily.

Thus a child who has sufficient perceptual-motor skills will be more prepared to learn and will enjoy better coordination and improved self-image. Perceptual-motor experiences build a strong base to support future academic learning.”

Rainbow Riders: Learning Through Play

In our Rainbow Rider classes, we design our lesson plans to implement movements that help build neural pathways to benefit your child’s ability to learn through play.

Throughout their Rainbow Riders class, you child will be able to:

  • Perform movements that “cross the midline” thanks to our new locomotor/vaulting station. The midline is the invisible line that divides the right and left sides of their body. This type of movement helps connect and coordinate the right and left brain.
  • Explore their bilateral coordination as they climb a ladder or the stall bars
  • Understand their spatial awareness when they get down low to crawl through a tunnel.
  • Experience proprioceptive input through a log roll as they feel the weight of their body pressing into the mat on their way down the hill.

Now when you watch your child playing, balancing, tumbling and climbing at their Rainbow Rider class, you’ll not only recognize joy, strength and cooperation in action — but also amazing brain development taking place.

Before you know it, this will manifest in reading readiness and greater learning success!

The wonderful health benefits of our classes aren’t only reserved for your children. We encourage parents to take a class with their child to enjoy a handful of benefits, including relieving stress, getting in touch with your balance and building a stronger connection with your child.

Learn more about how you can play and grow with your child at a Mountain Kids gymnastics class >