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#7: Encouraging Physical Activity in Preschoolers

Featuring Dr. Darren Robert

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Physical exercise is critical for preschoolers' cognitive and physical development. In e-clip # 7, Dr. Darren Robert describes the importance of physical activity for children's development, and offers several ways to incorporate physical activity into the preschool daily routine. Two teachers describe their efforts to physically engage preschoolers through yoga and other activities, and to involve parents in encouraging physical activity at home. 

Discussion Questions for Early Childhood Teachers and Administrators

  1. How can we plan to incorporate physical education into our classrooms and daily routines? What are some ideas for physically active transitions?
  2. How can we ensure our physical activities are safe?
  3. How do we define developmentally appropriate in the context of physical activity?
  4. In what ways might physical activities help us to achieve some of our instructional goals?
  5. What could be included in a physical education dramatic play center?
  6. What materials can we send home to parents to encourage physical activity outside of the classroom?

Recommended Reading

  • Carlson, F. (2011). Big Body Play: Why Boisterous, Vigorous, and Very Physical Play Is Essential to Children's Development and Learning. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
  • Sanders, S. (2002). Active for Life: Developmentally Appropriate Movement Programs for Young Children. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers.  
  • Tummers, N. (2009). Teaching Yoga for Life: Preparing Children and Teens for Healthy, Balanced Living. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Thompson, M. (1993). Jump for Joy!: Over 375 Creative Movement Activities for Young Children. Grand Rapids, MI: Parker Publishing Company.
  • Bersma, D., Visscher, M. (2003). Yoga Games for Children: Fun and Fitness with Postures, Movements and Breath.Almaeda, CA: Hunter House.
  • MacDonald, M. (2006). Shake-It-Up Tales!  Atlanta, GA: August House.
  • Landalf, H., Gerke, P. (1996). Movement Stories for Young Children: Ages 3-6. Hanover, NH: Smith & Kraus Publishers Inc.

Additional Web Resources on Physical Activity in Preschoolers

Video production credits for Encouraging Physical Activity in Preschoolers

Executive Producer: Julia DeLapp

Producer/Director: Denise Matthews

Production Coordinator: Ken Measimer

Production Coordination Assistant: Kelly Zimmerman

Student Production Assistants: Dan Young, Karl Gray, & Joan Gallagher

Faculty expert: Dr. Darren Robert

Featured teachers: Ashlee Parks, Claudia Ahern

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