Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A visit from Martha Swirzinski

Today's guest blogger is Martha Swirzinski, author of the Movement and More series of books for young children.  Martha holds a Bachelor's degree in therapeutic recreation from Clemson University and a Master's from the University of Maryland in Kinesiology.  With more than 15 years of experience working in the field of movement with children and adults, she knows a thing or two about the value of movement education and the value of structured movement for children. Using entertaining rhymes and charming pictures, these developmentally based books offer fun and creative ways for children to move while also providing mind stimulating activities on each page. By following the suggested activities, children can engage in 30-60 minutes of their recommended structured daily movement, as well as enhancing other mind/body skills. Designed to be enjoyed again and again, the pages of these books are filled with laughter, learning, movement and more.   Martha’s books are: Leap… Laugh… Plop, Guess… Giggle… Wiggle, and Kick… Catch… Buzz.
Today Martha blogs on the topic of Building better bodies and brains

What is the one thing you can do for yourself and your child that will have the biggest impact on your body and brain? If you said exercise, you were right. We all know that getting your body moving is great for your health but did you know it is just as important for good brain health. That’s right, when you and your child get up and moving it actually helps increase learning.

Advances in brain research show that most of the brain is activated during physical activity. Eric Jensen, author of Brain Based Learning and Teaching, tells us that after 10 minutes of sitting our brain starts to shut down. The learner gets sleepy and learning declines. So what is one to do? Yep, that’s right get your body moving. Moving “increases blood vessels that allow for the delivery of oxygen, water, and glucose (“brain food”) to the brain” (Pica, Rae)

A few facts to ponder:
• “Aerobic exercise just twice a week halves your risk of general dementia. It cuts your risk of Alzheimer’s by 60 percent.” (Medina John)

• “Being active grows new brain cells.

• Balance improves reading capacity.

• Movement can help reinforce academic skills for all students.

• Play can increase attention.” (Blaydes, Jean)

So, bottom line, make sure you and your children are active every day. It doesn’t have to be torture, make it fun. For a list of fun ways to incorporate movement into your everyday life with your children go to www.wholechildpublishing.com

Tour with VBT-Writers on the Move through April. New and famous authors, plus useful information. 


  1. What great information. Hmmm . . . being active grows new brain cells . . . my older grandson is going to be a genius. LOL

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Magdalena,
    Thanks so much for hosting me today.

    Karen, It is great information and it's amazing the research that links moving to learning.

  3. A terrific post ... it is so important for us all to be active, especially kids! Loved the facts to think about.

    :) Dallas

  4. This reminds me of another book, Moving Through All Seven Days by Kathy Stemke. Maybe both authors can work together to spread the word about the value of exercise for kids.

  5. Yes, I love Martha's books and her philosophy. We are on the same wave length. Maybe we can work together somehow, Martha??

  6. Kathy,
    Anytime, I love your work!!

  7. Thanks for the great info, Martha - loved those facts! And important for grown-ups too! :)

  8. Activity is such an important part of our lives! Thanks for helping us to make it fun for children.