Have you wondered why your child’s teacher has them Pencil Rolling? That's because Pencil Rolling supports the development of essential skills that children need in order to learn. Check out some of the skills Pencil Rolling helps develop below.
As we have been talking to educators, many have shared they don’t have space in their rooms for Pencil Rolling due to social distancing and we have run into that problem when helping educators set up S.M.A.R.T. Courses in their spaces. One of the first S.M.A.R.T. Activities we find space for is Pencil Rolling because it takes up the most room.
With the new year, you might be ready to switch up your S.M.A.R.T. Course, so start by finding the area in the room with the most space (keep in mind the children are going to keep growing!). When possible, we use the group time area because that is generally where there is the most open room. If that isn’t possible, consider adjusting the placement of different activities. For example, having the children Alligator Crawl under a table may open up some area in the room for Pencil Rolling. Also, Alligator Crawl and Creep (Slap) Track take up less room than Pencil Roll, so those S.M.A.R.T. Activities can be placed in narrower spaces like isles or walkways.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Log Rolling and Pencil Rolling? The difference is developmental because when a child is Log Rolling, they are leading with their head - and then their shoulders, trunk, and legs follow. As their roll becomes more mature, their body is more efficient because they are leading with their hips, we call this Pencil Rolling.
You will notice when children lead with their heads, they often roll off of the mat because their Vestibular system (understanding where they are in space) is still developing. This is OK!! When this happens, instead of correcting them by encouraging them to stay on the mat, we suggest that you encourage them to roll as fast as *they can. The reason why is that rolling fast provides the brain and body with intense stimulation that will help develop their Vestibular system. We also increase the frequency by providing more opportunities to roll.
*NOTE: It is important that the child chooses the speed.