Did you know little bodies need exercise too? Although it seems unlikely that your child ever really sits still, a recent statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that about 14% of children between the ages of 2 to 5 years old were overweight due to being too sedentary. Thats more than double the 5% of children overweight in the 1970s. Just like with older children, your little one needs encouragement to get out and play!
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education suggests the following fitness guidelines for young children. Your preschool child aged 3 to 5 years old should spend at least 60 minutes a day on structured physical activities; at least 60 minutes a day on unstructured physical activities; and no more than 60 minutes engaged in a sedentary activities (unless she is sleeping).
How to Add Physical Activity:
Adding structured physical activities helps small children develop motor skills, important for every day living. Develop your childs movements by teaching him how to run, throw, catch, kick, and so forth. Just think, you would never give him a book and expect him to learn how to read. Dont expect your child to go out and play and figure these motor skills on his own. Teach him how to perform each action, give positive feedback, and give them many opportunities to practice. You are your childs best role model, so spend time playing with him everyday. Encourage your little one with simple phrases like You caught that really well! or That was a good kick.
Use age-appropriate toys and equipment, and always practice safety around your young learner. If you enroll your child in a formal class, first ensure that it is age appropriate according to your childs developmental level. Team activities should not be introduced until your child has grasped the concept and has patience to wait for his turn.
Physical Activities to Try:
Here are a few physical education activities to add to your early childhood lesson plans:
Tag or chase: add variety by hopping, dancing, jumping, or waddling.
Catch or kickball: try many different sizes and textures.
Riding a scooter or tricycle
Obstacle course: make a course out of chairs, cushions, tables, hoops, and so on.
Swimming or water play such as sprinklers, hoses, or wadding pools
Building a cardboard house or crawling through a cardboard tunnel
Dancing and singing: add fun feathers, ribbons, or cloth to make it interesting.
Adding physical education to your early childhood lesson plans doesnt have to be hard! With a little creativity and imagination, you can make physical activity seem like playing to your child. Help your child grow up healthy and happy! Enrich his life with joyful learning experiences that you can easily turn into P.E. time. Remember to add variety to your early childhood lesson plans. Physical activities should be fun!