Physical Development

Parent Wishes #13 – Support Children’s Physcial Development

Continuing with the posts on parent wishes for early programs and kids with special needs, one parent’s wish is to support children’s physical development. This post gives some suggestions on play and movement activities for all kids.

physical development activities

Kids are all unique with their own strengths and challenges. Some will be constantly on the move and hands touch everything like walls and fences when walking. They bump into things just for the extra sensory stimulation. When talking to a grandparent on the phone, they pace back and forth or go round in circles. Other children do not have such high mobility needs, but they still need to strengthen their muscles and learn to coordinate their bodies. Some large muscle activities might be:

  • Have a space and time for kids to run, jump, hop, roll, climb, tip toe, kick, throw, and more. Containing kids’ energy in a house isn’t possible. Sometimes, a backyard isn’t big enough either. Hopefully, there are some parks and playgrounds in your area.
  • Sing some action songs, like Hokey Pokey or Shake Your Sillies Out.
  • Put on some dance music and enjoy it together. Do some exercises or yoga.holiday yoga for kids

Small muscles are still developing in young children so fine motor activities can be particularly challenging.

  • Play dough involves squishing, patting, rolling, pulling, smooshing, smoothing, and more.
  • Puzzles, blocks, puppets, paints, and other art materials are toys that exercise the muscles in the hands and wrists.
  • Playing in water, sand, dirt, and mud appeal to kids and support children’s physical development.
  • When cooking, kids can stir and mix.
  • Doing up buttons and zippers may take more time when kids do it than when we do, but it is important kids have the opportunity to practice.fine motor activities

Sensory activities are a part of physical development. Messy play is more than fun, it gives children a chance to learn and discover thru their senses.

If you had wish for programs and places for young children, such as daycare, preschool, and kindergarten, would it be to support children’s physical development and play?

 

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 … Continue reading March Action Sequence Fun Game for Kids

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 !