1st Edition

Dynamic Play and Creative Movement Powering Body and Brain

By Judith Peck Copyright 2023
    252 Pages 50 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 50 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Dynamic Play and Creative Movement offers effective and accessible methods to supplement elementary education for young children using dance, movement, and play.

    Imagination, physical energy, and the need for self-expression are childhood qualities recognized by parents but are not sufficiently valued to be applied to formal education. Yet when valued as natural endowments, they might intelligently be used to increase a child's perceptive abilities and self-confidence, essential to learning. These three qualities combine in dynamic play, a term devised by the author to describe an approach to learning. Through physical participation, children deal with concepts, ideas, and emotions while they reach out to touch a vast world of people, animals, nature, and activities. The chapters provide for improvisations in music, visual art, drama and stories in addition to topics related to the changing seasons, sports, school subjects, travel, games, and many other elements of the natural and man-made world. Research about the correlation of movement to brain activity is included to support the thesis that creative movement is an effective adjunct to learning.

    Therapists, counselors, and preschool and elementary teachers will find this easily adaptable material valuable in fostering perception, insight, and cognitive understanding in children.

    Part One:  Dynamic Play  1. Journey of Discovery  2. Channeling Physical Energy, Imagination and Expression  3. Imagination: Origin of Individuality  4. Getting Started  5. Questions and Answers  Part Two: Movement and Brain Connections  6. Brain Plasticity and Exercise  7. The Developing Brain  8. The Brain, Movement and Dance  Part Three: The Creative Conquest of Space  9. Taking Off  10. Ground Instruments  11. Flight Patterns  Part Four: Improvisations  12. Getting Started  13. Improvisations on Nature  14. Improvisations on the Seasons  15. Improvisations on the Visual Arts  16. Improvisations on the Performing Arts  17. Improvisations on Holidays  18. School Projects  19. Fun and Games  Part Five: Creative Movement Plays  20. Dramatic Plays  21. The Stories 


    Dr. Judith Peck is a sculptor, professor emerita of art, and author of several books on art technique, movement, and parenting, as well as two novels and award-winning children’s picture books.

    "Dynamic Play and Creative Movement is timely, enlivening, and creative. It will show teachers, parents, school administrators, school boards, and those who teach teachers how a classroom can come alive— even as deeper learning becomes accessible. This is indeed exciting."

    Beate Becker, MA, MS, BC-DMT, PA, CMA, SEP, LMHC

    "I believe this book to be on the leading edge of a growing field—of dance or movement therapy—which can serve important needs for postsecondary faculty teaching education and special education courses. Elementary school teachers, social workers, paraprofessionals, clinicians, and special education teachers looking to add these action-oriented concepts and methods into their curricula and classrooms would benefit, as well as parents hoping to stimulate maximum brain development in their children."

    Mary C. Starke, professor of Clinical Psychology, Ramapo College of New Jersey

    "Judith Peck, Ed.D beautifully brings to life the inherent qualities in all children: energy, imagination, movement and creativity. The mind is never independent of the physical body. In this book Judith demonstrates how movement and creative expression are essential for learning and brain development."

    Jean Seibel, MA, LCAT, BC-DMT, visiting professor Pratt Institute Graduate Dance Therapy Program

    "Dancers and footballers have to move to think. They think by moving. And so do children. In this much needed antidote to sedentary education, Judith Peck guides us skillfully through the research behind this claim, and the many benefits which movement bestows on children's intellectual as well as physical development. So, teachers, get moving!"

    Guy Claxton, author of  "Intelligence in the Flesh".