Fitness lesson plans during preschool help young kids get off to a strong start in their awareness of physical health. Ideally, some sort of fitness plan should be a part of every early childhood education curriculum. Teachers are able to introduce students to the many benefits of regular exercise, cultivating healthy habits early on.
Some teachers run into creative issues with bringing physical fitness to the preschool classroom. Combining fitness with subjects such as reading, music, art and other educational activities can be a fun and creative way to teach fitness. Teachers should consider the following ideas when implementing fitness into their current curriculum:
The reading circle is a great place to introduce lessons about physical fitness. It’s a natural place to read books related to fitness and exercise, and a number of great titles are available to choose from. Some suggested reading for a fitness reading circle would be:
These books are age-appropriate and talk about the benefits of regular exercise on a level pre-schoolers will understand.
Another method of instruction is to bring in books with photographs directly related to health and fitness, and pass them around the class. Have the children discuss the images, what people are doing in them and how exercise can benefit everyone. Have each child talk about their favorite fitness activity. Ask them to explain what it is they like about it and how often they do it.
Another creative way to get students talking about health and fitness is by having them play restaurant. This can go a long way in teaching them how to make healthy food choices, whether they’re at home or out to eat. To do this, start by creating a mock menu offering a variety of food choices, from healthy to unhealthy. This is probably all that’s needed if your space and time is limited, but you can also set up a counter, a kitchen, pretend food and a dining room if you wish. Have the children take turns playing customer, cashier, cook and waiter. Help the kids to understand how to make healthy choices, even when out at a restaurant.
Music can be a great part of preschool fitness lesson plans, in part because it is so easy to get kids to start moving when music is playing. Most kids love music, and it’s a great way to get them to practice some of the exercise ideas you may have discussed during the reading circle. There are a number of great audio CDs to choose from that preschoolers will love. These CDs feature songs and dance-alongs that encourage fitness in children and teach them how to exercise. Here are some audio CDs that could be a great fit for your class:
Art activities are another creative area where lessons about fitness can be incorporated. Have students create self-portraits of themselves engaged in their favorite physical exercise. They might also create drawings or collages of themselves playing a sport they may have never tried before, but would like to. The point is to get them thinking about exercise, physical fitness and health and understanding its importance to a balanced life.
Preschoolers who get started early with learning about physical fitness have a far better chance of creating healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Creative and fun preschool fitness lesson plans should be a part of every early childhood education curriculum.