physical activities

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?

 

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?

Resolution Words for the New Year #2 – Raising Kids Takes BALANCE

Raising kids takes balance. So does teaching them. Today’s resolution word is balance and the post will be both kids’ balance activities and thoughts on balance.

balance activities for kids

In a day, parents, teachers, and caregivers balance an enormous amount of various factors. We want kids to learn to manage risk, but we want them to be safe so we balance experiences vs supervision. Our children absolutely must feel comfortable in a digital world, but we know young kids need hands-on activities too so we try and limit screen time in a world that seems to have more and more digital opportunities. Time itself seems to be in short supply, so how do we give our children enough unstructured play time and, on the other hand, the enrichment of time in art and sport programs?raising kids takes balance

In childcare centers, educators have similar questions. Free play or guided discovery? Adults need to be sensitive to what’s in the best interest of an individual child and balance that with the needs of the group.

science activities about the body

Learning to balance happens for kids first on a physical level. Almost from the time kids learn to walk, they seem to seek the challenge of standing on just one foot or the other. Kids will windmill their arms as they stretch out one leg and stand on the other before gleefully falling over. Balancing is common game. Soon, they try walking along the edge of something. This might be a neighbor’s retaining wall or the narrow space between two big puddles. It could be the fence or the cement stops in a parking lot. Whatever it is, kids enjoy the challenge of learning to keep their balance on a smaller and smaller space. Sometimes, they want help from us and other times they are adamant about doing it by themselves. A popular gift for kids for Christmas and birthdays is a balance bike or other equipment.

learning-strategies

While balance “is important to achieving success in almost every sport or physical activity,” (Balanceability: The Journey Starts Here) it is also part of thinking skills. A fun game for practicing balance and thinking is Hopscotch.

kids and goal setting

Beyond the physical, we all practice balancing in one form or the other. For us, the word of the day is balance. Raising kids takes balance, and more! For kids, how about some balance play-of-the-day fun?

 

Kids Christmas Movement Activities – Fun and Play

Today’s fun and play is kids Christmas movement activities. December is such a busy month we sometimes end up being like the Gingerbread man, on the run. Let’s start there. Gingerbread men can be boys or girls.  In the Gingerbread man, a little old lady makes a gingerbread man cookie, but the cookie jumps out … Continue reading Kids Christmas Movement Activities – Fun and Play

Super Bowl: Physical Activity for Kids

February has another exciting event this weekend: Super Bowl and Super Bowl reminds us about the importance of physical activity for kids. While the Super Bowl itself has only been around since last century, the history of sports goes back at least as far as Ancient Greece. Throughout the ages, people have understood the benefits … Continue reading Super Bowl: Physical Activity for Kids

Part Three: To a Child, Love is Spelled T I M E

Spending Time in Active and Physical Play: There’s a saying that it’s the little things that count and the littlest would be kids. To them, spending time is what counts, not our expertise. That’s good news for other parents and caregivers that are like me, that is athletically challenged. Games like giddy-up, chase and catch, … Continue reading Part Three: To a Child, Love is Spelled T I M E