PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT – GROSS MOTOR
- Some preschool teachers do a little yoga to a CD every day.
- Some preschool teachers have the children do a little outside random running.
- Some preschool teachers have the children play outdoor.
Whichever teacher you are, you are being intentional about having children get their physical develop.
Here are some more good large muscle work for you to consider adding to your repertoire of activities.
However, for infant and toddler teachers, do not need to do anything so structured. Encouraging and promoting and supplying the means for this age group to work and practice the muscles and bones they need. They do as they need. Instinct.
Yes, you are telling me. You know about all of these. Give it a twist. Try different sizes and lengths and widths. Make it heavy or make it light. Make it short or make it long. Shorten the distance or lengthen the distance. Throw into a “MONSTER MOUTH”. Stand on different levels and surfaces. Run, skip, turn around, stoop down, pop-up the bounce the balls.
Have the children come up with challenging ways to pump up the volume of manipulating objects.
Throwing beanbags, balls, pool noodles at a target such as a basket, box, hoop, etc.
- Bouncing balls
- Catching balls, beanbags
- Rolling a hula hoop
- Rolling ball
- Turning a rope
STRENGTHENING TARGETED LARGE MUSCLES
If, in your observations, you note that a child has a particular challenge with a specific set of muscles (like the legs), or doing a specific activity, then think of ways to address that particular area:
- Rolling the body
- Jumping like over a rope, or over a block or something with height
- Pulling up on bars
COORDINATING LARGE MUSCLES
We have all heard that the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right side of the body, and the right hemisphere of the brain controls the left side of the body. We’ve heard about right-brain and left-brain activities. Did you know that whenever you cross the midline of your body, you are promoting the synapses of the right side to make connections with the synapses of the left side, and vice versa.
- Balance beam
Here are some songs that help with that midline coordination:
Miss Mary Mack
These are just some to start with. If you know of others, let me know.
If you are thinking yoga, you are right. However, just make sure it is yoga for children because their cartilage is not yet hardened into bone and muscles are still growing. You don’t want to over-stretch, over-extend, or over-stress their delicate structure. Children of all ages tend to know instinctively what their body needs. In this area, lots of wiggling and hanging and climbing will help them, as they need.