On the move: EPIC hosts second “Kids Movement Night”

Families were on the move on Thursday, April 11 at the St. John Street Community Preschool’s annual “Kids Movement Night.” For the second consecutive year, the event was hosted by the Every Person Influences Children (EPIC) program and focused on the importance of incorporating movement into the daily lives of young children.

Open to SJS Preschool and Tiny Town families, kids ages 2-6 were led through a series of activities designed to enhance their gross motor skills from Monticello Central School District physical therapist, Joan Mingo. Students actively listened to Mrs. Mingo’s directions as they were guided through a colorful obstacle course and played various games that utilized their gross motor skills.

“What I see increasingly in today’s world is that children aren’t as active or physical in their daily lives,” said Mrs. Mingo. “Having the opportunity to attend a session like this helps parents understand the need for physical movement and how easy it can be to incorporate in their child’s daily routine. Kids learn a huge amount through play and moving.”

Statistics show that physical activity improves academic performance and movement, especially at an early age. Examples include playing hopscotch, placing magnetic letters on the refrigerator, jumping rope, and throwing a ball. Each activity can help one-to-one correspondence and rote counting skills, which are essential to children as they develop and advance in their education.

The event concluded with an EPIC raffle basket that included items to help facilitate movement and play at home. Moreover, all attendees received an educational booklet that detailed different ways families can integrate movement into their child’s day.

“This is one of my favorite family engagement nights of the school year,” said EPIC Family Engagement Program Manager, Jane Sorensen. “By attending Kids Movement Night, parents discover fun, new ways they can work on their child’s gross motor skills at home, as well as how easy it is to incorporate these types of activities into daily routines.”