• The JABADAO Team

The Feeling of Me

We’ve just launched the first in a series of on-line Developmental Movement Play courses for early years professionals - heralding a new era for JABADAO.

It isn’t just a pandemic thing - although of course this has made a big difference. We’ve all discovered the advantages of being able to drop easily into training courses run from the other side of the country - or the world. And the downsides of course. For us, given that our subject matter is visceral, embodied learning, it feels sad to be working with flat, digital images. But we will discover together how to make the very best of what is possible.

So here we go. And we are genuinely excited by the possibilities.

We’ve begun with a course called The Feeling of Me - a course about the four core body senses and the vital role of sensory development within wider physical development.

Why did we start with this one?

"... sensory development is 50% of the work"

We think that sensory development is much more important that is currently addressed in the early years physical development curriculum. In fact, we think that sensory development is 50% of the work. And many children - who are finding clever ways to develop their sensory systems through their physical behaviours and movement play - can be misunderstood if we don’t recognise what they’re doing.

This means understanding the role and mechanics of the four core body senses - touch, proprioception, the vestibular sense and interoception.

Development of these core body senses underpins physical development. Motor skills rely on having an accurate internal map of the body and great balance. But there's much more going on here.

The core body senses also give us access to how we feel - from the sensations of being a body and being in touch with the world, to the feeling of emotions. After all, we recognise and experience emotions as feelings in our body.

These core body senses are also a massive part of our capacity to feel safe in the world. And more - how confident and happy we can feel. This is partly because they enable us to keep ourselves physically safe, (risk assess accurately, keep ourselves from falling, manage our moving body in space etc), but interoception also gives us the information we need to notice and express how we feel inside - and recognise what we need to be OK.

Together, these core body senses provide the raw material for self-regulation - because we first have to be able to feel and notice the sensations in our body, before we can either act on them or express them.

Sound development around the four core body senses creates nothing less than a foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing - feeling right in our own skin. We think that many children leave the early years without the basic foundations in place. (We all work hard on their physical milestones but not so much on their core body sensory foundations.) And, because of the sedentary nature of our education system, these children will have fewer and fewer opportunities to make up ground - which can put them in trick spot for a lifetime.

That’s why we are starting with The Feeling of Me. Because it is so important.

And that’s why the course is named as it is. Because there is nothing more fundamental than building a comfortable, safe … Feeling of Me.

You’ll find the course here: