303 Preschooler-Approved Exercises and Active Games is written specifically for children ages 2-5 years old. In the Building Blocks of Fitness section, each fitness and sport skill is taught in different stages. This allows teachers, counselors, or parents to teach their preschooler a skill that sets the foundation of a more difficult skill; the next level adds a new and more complex element. By doing this, the preschool child will be safe and will feel confident about themselves.
Children will learn:
• Socialization skills
• How to focus and follow rules
• How to share
• Reasoning and thinking skills
The preschool years are filled with milestones and major physical changes; young children will develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. During this time, lifestyle behaviors begin to emerge that can define a pattern of behaviors all the way through adulthood. It is vital to a child’s health to instill healthy lifestyle habits, behaviors, and disciplines during these young years. Through creative physical activities and easy-to-follow guidelines, this book will teach families how to navigate their dynamic and hectic lifestyles into a healthy and active lifestyle. Being physically active is an invaluable gift for a child, a gift that keeps on giving even into adulthood.
What motivates a five year old will be different than what motivates a twelve year old. It’s not a “one size fits all” when it comes to fitness. Children have specific physiologic differences that make them unique; they grow, mature and develop skills at different ages, so what may be skill appropriate for one child could be harmful for another child, fitness programs, exercises and activities must be designed specific to each developmental stage. Think of fitness in terms of building a pyramid. In order to have a strong foundation, preschoolers must learn the basic building blocks of fitness. Each year, as kids grow older, they are building on the foundations that were created in the previous years and moving on to more complex movements and skills. Moving from hitting a stationary ball to one that is thrown, bouncing a ball with two hands to bouncing it with one, and progressing from a bike with training wheels to one without, are all milestones that are accomplished during childhood. Kids will play longer and harder than those at the earlier stage of development. They can actually follow multi-task directions (e.g., run to the cone, jump up and down three times, then run back to me) and enjoy playing in a group more.
For quick access and easy to follow directions, the activities are organized into six sections of different games and exercises that can easily fit into a child's allotted playtime. Throughout these sections, children can become more aware of their bodily functions, develop sportsmanship and team-working skills, increase energy expenditure, help strengthen muscles and bones, and improve cardiovascular endurance. Preschoolers can decrease the risk of serious illnesses later in life while increasing their creative development. Play and exercise helps children to grow and learn about how the world works. 303 Preschooler-Approved Exercises and Active Games is a physically active way to bring fun and laughter into a child’s life.
About the Author
Kimberly Wechsler has a Bachelor of Science from Texas Christian University. After having two sons she became a health and fitness trainer. In the past 20 years she received nine certifications in fitness instruction and personal training, has been a dance instructor, fitness instructor specializing in kid's fitness, personal trainer, a physical education teacher, a health coach, master aquatics trainer, muscle conditioning and flexibility coach, Pilates instructor and student of Integrative Nutrition.
She has lectured at numerous fitness seminars, taught cooking classes, hosted a television show, been a national presenter at health and fitness conferences, developed five successful summer fitness camps for kids in Massachusetts, volunteered as a coach for The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and served on the Governor’s Council and Presidents’ Council of Youth Fitness.
In 2011 she founded a non-profit organization, Replay4Kids and since 2009 is the CEO of Fitness Productions LLC, a company that designs and searches for quality products that will guide and support families to a healthier, more balanced life in natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal growth and creative expression. To learn more visit www.loveyourworkout.com
She makes her home in Frisco, Texas.
Table of Contents
List of Games vi
Foreword Tamilee Webb xvii
Introduction: The Exercises and Games
Basic Exercises: Let the Fun Begin! 26
Active Games for Warm-Up 26
Stretching Exercises 28
Active Games 36
Exercises to Build Strong Muscles 37
Strengthening the Heart Muscle 49
Fine Motor Skills 61
The Basic Building Blocks of Fitness 64
Teaching Balance 65
Sports-Performance Skills 91
Ball-Handling Skills 91
Tossing/Throwing Skills 96
Hand-Eye, Hand-Foot Coordination Skills 109
Bouncing-Balls Skills 113
Kicking Skills 117
Bat-, Racquet-, and Golf-Swinging Skills 121
How to Teach Rhythm 124
Alphabetical List of Games 132
List of Games Arranged by Specific Categories 136
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