Preschool students are old enough to start understanding the basics of health and make some healthy choices on their own. Including health in the preschool curriculum is a great way to get your students on a healthy pathway for life. Here are some tips for teaching health to preschool students.
Make It Relevant
Choosing age-appropriate health concepts is key to the success of your preschool health unit. Focus on issues that are relevant to a preschooler’s life, such as brushing teeth, washing hands and preventing spreading germs. The kids will enjoy the lessons more and they will actually learn something from the activities when you tailor the information and topics to the preschool level.
Another way to make preschool health lessons effective is to use interactive lessons. Let the kids actually practice the health skills you’re discussing. Young kids often learn best from hands-on activities. Health lessons in particular are easy to make interactive. For example, if you’re teaching about brushing teeth, get a dentist to donate toothbrushes and toothpaste so the kids can practice brush at school. If you’re learning about washing hands, spend a lot of time in the preschool bathroom scrubbing the right way.
Using hands-on activities gives the kids real-world practice. It also makes learning a lot more fun for the kids.
Get Parents Involved
Since health issues go beyond school, it’s more effective to get parents involved in the lessons. Keep parents informed on the type of health issues you’re teaching at school. Ask them to emphasize the same issues at home. For example, if you teach the kids to wash their hands for as long as it takes to sing the alphabet, share the trick with the parents so they can do it at home too. The concepts get reinforced when the kids hear and see them both at home and at school.
Use Classroom Situations
Customize the preschool health lessons based on issues that arise in the classroom. This is a great way to make the lessons personalized based on the habits and levels of your students. For example, if you have kids who sneeze all over the place, teach them how to prevent spreading their germs. If you have a child who doesn’t bathe often, work in a lesson on the importance of staying clean without drawing attention to any one particular child.