Physical Development

Magic Wishes for Preschool/Kindergarten #2: Quick and Easy Movement Activities for Kids

What did the baby calf say to the momma cow? I need to mooove.movement activities for kids

Human babies need to move too so include some quick and easy movement activities for kids. This is Part #2 in response to the following question for parents and caregivers of young children.

Q. If, after St. Patrick’s or April Fools, you somehow found yourself with one wish or a magic wand—a sort of realistic one, but this wish or magic had to be for children’s early programs, like a daycare, playschool, or kindergarten, what would you wish for? Recently, I asked some parents of young kids, moms and dads, this question and here are their answers.

A. Catherine, mom of 3, also an elementary teacher, said, “Lots of space and time for active play.”movement activities for kids

We don’t need to be reminded that kids love to be active and have to move. It happens every single day. So much so, if kids aren’t squirming, wiggling, running, climbing, and crawling, we worry and check if they are sick. Kids are hard-wired to move. Brains use body movements to train pathways and connections for all kinds of thinking.

Homes and child care programs don’t always have lots of space for movement activities so we may have to be creative. When it comes to time, children’s days should include movement activities. Here are some suggestions:

getting ready for kindergarten everyday

One backyard + a ball = hours of fun. Playgrounds and parks can be substituted if you don’t have a backyard. Sometimes, neighborhoods include resources you might not think of for open spaces. For instance, there may be a church in your area with a parking lot that is empty at some points during the week. A nearby school may allow kids with an adult supervisor to play on the grounds when it’s not recess. Kicking a ball is fun in any weather, even rain and snow. Fences and walls are challenges for balancing. Are there any skating rinks or swimming pools with special times for young children and families?balance activities for kids

Inside the house, a basement or gym might be on the wish list, but don’t overlook the hallway. With the doors closed, a hallway is ideal for throwing sockballs. These are like snowballs made from mismatched socks all rolled together. Other quick and easy movement activities for kids that can happen in a hallway might be tumbling or headstandphysical activity for kids

Foam mats turn any open space into a place for jumping, rolling, stretching, twirling, and more. Line up two or three chairs to be a tunnel for crawling under. Make a small obstacle course with a chair for going under, a coffee table for going around, and the sofa cushions for rolling on. A small trampoline in a corner gives space for jumping.whole body play

Of course, music or dance video invite quick and easy movement activities for kids and adults too. Will your child’s day include some space and time active, vigorous play?

 

How to Steal a March #3: Movement Activities Build Brain Power

March is a great month because it urges action and movement activities build brain power. Just in case you didn’t know or you need a reminder, kids love to move and be active. More than that, they absolutely need to. Vigorous exercise is great not only for bodies but also brains, building pathways and connections for thinking.

planet playground fun

1, 2,3 Whee, what can your child’s day include? Some time in the playground invites climbing, running, swinging, sliding and more. A ball and a backyard or other space is perfect for throwing, kicking, and chasing around. This can be done in the rain even with rubber boots. A walk around the block invites balancing on low fences and walls. Is there a skating rink or swimming pool in your neighborhood? Movement activities outside include the benefits of sun and fresh air. balance activities for kids

For inside, it sure would be nice if gyms were available in neighborhoods but communities sometimes have gym space available for parent and tot programs. In some houses, a big open space isn’t part of the design. A hallway is often overlooked but it can work. Foam mats are quite inexpensive and kids can do a variety of exercises as well, as moving how they want.  Inside movement activities sometimes challenge us to be more creative. Turn the kitchen chairs upside down and let kids crawl underneath. Two or three of them in a row make a fun tunnel for crawling or slithering. Put on some music or a dance video and both you and your child can enjoy some movin’ and groovin’.movement activities

The expression, “stealing a march on someone,” means to gain an advantage. Movement activities build brain power. By making sure to include some form of vigorous physical activity everyday, your child can “steal a march.” What will your movement play be today?

 

March Action Sequence Fun Game for Kids

March is such a great month because it’s name is action and kids love to be active, so today’s play idea is a March action sequence fun game for kids.

Vigorous physical activity is needed for both body and brain development. This game can happen spontaneously and build on whatever your child is doing. When you notice your little one zipping around you can connect and say, “I see you are running, (or whatever it is your child is doing). Next, can you try hopping?”Easter active body play

After a bit of hopping, you may suggest another action, “After those, could you try some jumping?” Go thru a whole selection such as hop, skip, crawl, jump, roll, slide, swim, fly, slither, etc. When kids–or you–seem to need a break, you can finish off with, “How about some hugging?” You can tailor the number of actions to your child’s need and energy, and also yours. Sitting is an action too.
The whole idea of sequence is pretty tricky for kids. We’ve often heard kids get mixed up about who did what first or who was playing with something first. The explanation “I was playing with that first,” may be referring to something just a few minutes ago or yesterday. Not only are kids trying to figure out the order of events but they are also trying to clear up this fuzzy concept of time.

whole body play
Using this action game, make it a little more challenging and give your child two or three to do in a row, such as “March first, then hop, and last roll. And do it again: march first, then hop, and last roll.” This helps practice doing things in a sequence. Some kids can only cope with 2 actions, some may be able to do 3 or 4. It’s okay if everybody gets mixed up, it makes for giggles. Kids also like to tell grownups 2 or 3 things to do in a row. Do the sequence a few times and then get really confused. Days need more laughter.

This March action sequence fun game isn’t just for kids. Maybe it’s great for adults too?

Dragon Movement Activities with Moats (Hula Hoops & Mini-Trampolines)

These dragon movement activities sort of take us full circle back to the beginning of the month when we started our dinovember dragon fun and learning. No warm-up needed but get dragon roars ready. Little Sister is using her dragon cape but dress-up isn’t needed either. What shape is a moat? Well, no matter its … Continue reading Dragon Movement Activities with Moats (Hula Hoops & Mini-Trampolines)

Dragon Playground Activities Inspired by The Paper Bag Princess

The children’s book, The Paper Bag Princess, by Robert Munsch inspires some dragon playground activities for kids and dragons for today’s play-of-the-day. Dragons can sleep for years and years but they also travel great distances. In this story, a dragon burns all of Princess Elizabeth’s clothes and captures her Prince Ronald. All she has left … Continue reading Dragon Playground Activities Inspired by The Paper Bag Princess

Autumn Activities and Movement Fun #5: Fall Yoga for Kids

Today’s play-of-the-day is some fall yoga for kids. No matter the season, kids absolutely need to move, not only for bodies but for brains too. Movement activities can include vigorous whole body ones like going to the playground, racing around in the yard, jumping on a mat in the living room, or running up and … Continue reading Autumn Activities and Movement Fun #5: Fall Yoga for Kids

Kids Movement Activities for the Gold – Olympic Games #7

Watching Simone Biles’ gold-medal gymnastic floor performance was inspiring. For a play-of-the-day kids movement activities get the gold. As a young child, Simone Biles apparently liked to jump off the furniture and do flips, despite reminders the house wasn’t a playground. How many of us say the same thing? Later, Aimee Boorman one of her … Continue reading Kids Movement Activities for the Gold – Olympic Games #7

Olympic Games #6: Benefits of Playing Soccer for Kids

Soccer matches started even before the Opening Ceremony, kicking off the Games. Did you know there are some great benefits of playing soccer for kids? Getting to the Olympics as a team member has been an incredible journey of sacrifice and dedication. Where did that journey start? If you read the bios of some of … Continue reading Olympic Games #6: Benefits of Playing Soccer for Kids

The Value of Sports for Kids – 1, 2, 3, Let’s PLAY !

During a radio interview, an Olympic athlete talked about the value of sports for kids, not it terms of competition but participation. Playing sports is a way to play. The list of reasons why sports is beneficial for kids is a long one. One of the most obvious is the physical activity. Kids love and … Continue reading The Value of Sports for Kids – 1, 2, 3, Let’s PLAY !

Space Activities #19: Space Yoga for Kids

Space yoga for kids combines yoga and imagination to give both young, developing bodies and brains some stimulation. Together, it’s out of this world. Outer space is full of stars. Our sun is a giant star. An easy yoga pose is the star pose. Kids stand with legs apart and arms outstretched. Two hands, two … Continue reading Space Activities #19: Space Yoga for Kids