Age-appropriate movement activities promote the development of gross-motor skills. For preschoolers to be at their healthiest, they need 120 minutes of activity daily. This means that they'll need to do many different movement activities in a typical day, because no preschooler has the patience to do the same activity for 120 minutes. Actually, few adults could last that long on the treadmill either.
1. Active Read Aloud
Preschoolers need to be active, but they also need to hear a lot of stories. By combining the two activities, preschoolers get the best of both. Read a book with an active component, such as Maurice Sendak's "Where The Wild Things Are," and then have a wild rumpus. Eric Carle's "From Head to Toe" is one that encourages kids to move during the reading, just ensure that the kids have plenty of room to act like animals during the read aloud.
2. Balloon Play
Children love balloons. Blowing up a few inexpensive balloons is an easy and affordable movement activity for preschoolers. Kids can start off by just trying to keep the balloon off the ground, then move onto playing volleyball with the balloon. If you don't have access to a volleyball net, just use a table or other divider to act as the net. Younger preschoolers can also practice catching and throwing with the balloon.
3. Hula Hoop Hop
It's not age-appropriate to expect preschoolers to use a hula hoop. However, that doesn't mean they can't use hula hoops as part of movement activities. Children can practice jumping by trying to jump in and out of hula hoops that are flat on the floor. You can even lay a few out in a row or path and have the preschoolers jump from one to another. Another option is to have the preschoolers roll the hula hoops like tires. Just chasing after the hoops is a good way to get them running.
4. Age Appropriate
Preschoolers don't have to be a part of an organized or adult-led activity for it to count as an age-appropriate movement activity. When kids run around on the playground, play dress-up or create a huge block tower, they are doing age-appropriate movement activities. As long as they are up and playing instead of sitting in front of a screen, they are probably doing an age-appropriate movement activity.
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