Learning the importance of exercise from an early age helps kids grow into adults who stay healthy. As a preschool teacher, you have the power to instill a love of staying active in your students. Most preschool classes only meet for a short time, so you don’t have long to squeeze in exercise. But you can keep the kids active throughout the day with simple activities.
Start out the preschool day with some morning stretches and exercises. It gets the kids energized and helps them wake up if they’re still sleepy. It can also help focus their attention by getting them involved in a group activity that they enjoy. Do some simple exercises like toe touches. Or have students pretend to be flowers by crouching down and slowly “growing” up toward the sun like a flower.
Another way to work in exercise during the preschool day is with active songs. Teach kids actions to go along with the words of songs you sing in class. Go beyond simple hand movements to include the whole body.
You can also add movements to everyday learning activities in the classroom. When you do the morning calendar, count the days. Have the kids do a different action with each number. They might jump up on even numbers and squat down on odd numbers, for example. Incorporate these types of movements into all of your group learning activities to keep your kids moving. They get exercise and stay alert.
If you have time, work in a little recess into the preschool day. It gives the kids a break from learning and gives them a change of environment. And most kids will gladly run and play when they can. As long as the weather isn’t dangerous, take the kids outside so they can really run, stretch their legs and breathe in fresh air.
Use all of the space available in the classroom to keep your kids moving. Don’t keep them sitting still in one part of the room for the whole day. With each new activity, have them get up and move to a different part of the room. When you take a bathroom break, have them flap their arms up and down while walking in the hallway.