Maven of Movement Bibliography

Research Sources


Connell, Gill and McCarthy, Cheryl, A Moving Child is a Learning Child:How the Body Teaches the Brain to Think, Free Spirit Publishing, 2014

This book is a wonderful resource for children from birth to seven years of age. The authors created “menu” of movement called the Kinetic Scale that helps adults ensure that babies and young children get the variety of movement they need for well rounded development. Beside explaining children's physical development needs, there are fun and easy activities provided for different stages in those early years. (Available on  Amazon.)



Goddard Blythe, Sally, The Genius of Natural Childhood,  Hawthorne Press, 2011 

Goddard Blythe, an international leader in child development, explains why movement is essential for healthy brain development. She includes activities, songs, lullabies and fairy tales that help prepare children for language development – and prepare them for school. Some chapters explain what children need. Other chapters provide ideas and resources to meet those developmental needs. (Available on Amazon.)


Goddard Blythe, Sally, The Well Balanced Child, Hawthorn Press, 2005

For those interested in a some what more technical view of the whole body approach to learning, this book explains: why movement matters (reflex integration), how music supports brain development, and the importance of nutrition. Chapter four is a good primer for understanding reflexes and challenges that may occur when a reflex is not  integrated. (Available on Amazon.)


Johnson, Stephanie, Baby Bare: A Bottom-Up Approach to Building Strong Brains and Bodies,,  July 2016

Based on current research from developmental experts, this informative book clearly describes the early stages of child development and explains how each phase supports later learning.  In fact, the first 18 months of life provides the foundation for all that follows. The author explains what we see, how to support the baby, and what to avoid in each of the five stages from birth through 18 months of age.  We learn that if we want our children to be successful, we must allow them to fully experience the natural movement that Mother Nature has prescribed. (Available from her website and from Amazon. E-books in English and French are available on the website.)

Ms. Johnson provides a free appointment for expectant parents.  


For educators and daycare providers:


A Chance to Grow, S.M.A.R.T Curriculum Guide, Minneapolis, 2007 ​

Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training (S.M.A.R.T.) is a program that helps children's brains and bodies get ready to learn. It provides the foundation for the required basic readiness skills, so critical for successful learners. The program consists of fun physical activities for developing and/or enhancing large and fine motor skills, balance and coordination, visual efficiency, eye-hand coordination and much more. Once these readiness skills are in place, children have the necessary tools to be able to attend and learn, making them ready for school and ready to become to become life-long learners. This 300 page book is the manual for the S.M.A.R.T. program. (Available from

A Chance to Grow, S.M.A.R.T Pre-K Program Guide - Get to the CORE of Readiness, Minneapolis, 2012

This book adapts the S.M.A.R.T. Program for preschool children. It is a valuable resource for those working with preschool children who want to include brain stimulation as a part of their preschool curriculum or day care services. 134 pages

A Chance to Grow, S.M.A.R.T Pre-K Program Guide - Get to the MORE of Readiness, Minneapolis, 2012

MORE  Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training  (S.M.A.R.T.) Pre-K, the second book in this series, is designed to help  children's brains and bodies get ready to learn. It provides the next level of foundation skills for the required basic readiness skills, so critical for successful learners.

Hubert, Bill, Bal-A-Vis-X: Rhythmic Balance/Auditory/Vision eXercises for brain


Bill Hubert developed an effective and fun movement program using sand filled bags and racquet balls that supports healthy neurological  development. Students participating in these activities have shown  improvement in academics and social/emotional maturity. An instructional DVD is available on the website. (For a demonstration:  Youtube-

Johnson, Katie, Red Flags for Elementary Teachers, Tendril Press, 2013


Teacher Katie Johnson explains that many student behaviors are actually “red  flags” that indicate possible unfinished developmental patterns in our students. She clearly describes behaviors to look for and then provides lots of fun, easy and effective activities that teachers can use in their classrooms to help students to fill in the gaps in their developmental foundations. (Available on Amazon.)


Oden, Athena, Ready Bodies, Learning Minds, Spring Branch, TX, 2004


This 110 page book provides teachers, therapists and parents with all the information they need to understand the critical relationships between reflexes, sensory systems, motor systems and children's performance in school and daily life.  Each system is explained, as is the interaction of the body systems and how they affect a child's ability to learn and perform.  Basic exercises are illustrated in the book.  (Available from  the website.)

Oden, Athena, Ready Bodies, Learning Minds: Activity Guide, Spring Branch, TX, 2004


This 120 page companion guide is an important follow up to Ready Bodies, Learning Minds.  It provides everything a teacher, therapist or parent needs to create a Ready Bodies Motor Lab. The activities are clearly illustrated. Note: this Activity Guide is meant to be used with the  Ready Bodies, Learning Minds manual. (Available from the website.)

O’Hara, Brendan, Movement and Learning: The Children's Songbook

The Children's Songbook, The F# Music Co., Victoria, Australia, 2003  

The Energy Exercises from Brain Gym® are set to lively Australian songs sung by Brendan O'Hara. The author also explains some “brain basics” and how these movements benefit children (and all of us). These songs and activities are great “brain breaks” in school.
(available at

O’Hara, Brendan, Movement and Learning: Wombat and His Mates Songbook,

The F# Music Co., Victoria, Australia, 2003 (available at 


The activity book explains the Brain Gym® activities and their benefits for children. Through song and dance, the CD leads 3 – 8 year olds through many fun and beneficial dances and activities. And adding to the fun is getting to learn about some unique Australian animals. These songs and activities are also good for “brain breaks” during the school day.  

(available at

DVD Get Ready for School by Robyn Cox, New Zealand

The original one hour DVD contains three segments. The first chapter clearly explains the critical stages of physical development children need to be ready for school. Chapter two shows lots of activities that help preschool children meet their developmental needs and the last chapter focuses on activities for 5-7 year old children. Lots of fun activities kids love that foster healthy development.  This DVD can be purchased for $30 with shipping and handling from: 

         Nancy Peterson
         22129 Maverick Rd.
         Oronogo, MO  64855

Web Resources  (Balance Vision Auditory eXercises ) Program description, research,  books and materials.  (See this Youtube video for a demonstration:

Research can be viewed at:  This site provides great information about what babies and young children need in a concise and easy to understand format. There is good advice on which activities are appropriate for different ages. (Utah) Integrated Learning Strategies.  Website and FB page and Pinterest provide a plethora of information on children's developmental needs.  (Minneapolis, Minnesota)  Minnesota Learning Resource Center has trained 4000 teachers in 12 states in the S.M.A.R.T. program.  (Christchurch, New Zealand) This is the website of Gill Connell, co-author of A Moving Child is a Learning Child a.  Includes Website, blog and Pinterest. (Spring Branch, Texas)
Athena Oden, a physical therapist from Texas, developed a motor lab to help children mature and integrate reflexes so they can be more successful in school and in life.  (Provides research and a video clip of motor lab in  action.) Research can be viewed at