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We all know that children like to move. I think it is safe to say that they love being active. We could even state that they need to move. Playing outside is great but providing children with ways they can be active indoors is important too, especially on cold or rainy days. No matter the weather, children have a lot of energy to spend!
That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to share different activities, to integrate ways we can modify typically sedentary activities to attract children who have a strong need to be active. Each child has his own attention span, his own activity level. In some children the need to move can be very strong. The following suggestions will help you cater to the needs of both highly active and more sedentary children.
An animated story
Select a storybook. Pick 2 or 3 words that are often repeated in the story. With your group, associate an action to each one. For example, you could decide that every time you read the word “flower”, children must jump up and down. When they hear the word “frog”, they must hop like a frog and every time you say “butterfly”, they are to spin around. Begin reading the story. Children listen for the words and perform the corresponding actions.
An illustrated obstacle course
Pick a board game that involves picking cards containing illustrations and a larger scene or playing card (bingo, hunt and seek, etc.). Create an obstacle course using items you have on hand. Arrange the cards in a pile, at the start line. Set the large playing card or scene at the end of the obstacle course. Children pick a card and name the illustrated item before setting off to complete the course. At the end of the course, have them set their card on the matching item or search for the illustrated item in the scene.
My wakeup routine
During circle time, integrate a “wakeup routine” to help children wake up and be ready for the day. Simply have your group perform a series of movements. Create a unique sequence and repeat it daily. For example, you could invite children to move their legs, their hands, and then their fingers. Integrate a few yoga poses and encourage children to stretch every part of their body. This is a wonderful way to start the day.
Chairs are “out”
During a table activity (drawing, board game, etc.), encourage children to push their chair out of the way and remain standing. This will allow children to move their legs and wiggle as much as they need to. Sometimes, this can help very active children focus.
Use colorful adhesive tape to draw a path on the floor. Your path should take children around your daycare. Sing songs with your group as they walk along the path. Encourage them to press their heel and then their toes into the line with every step. When a song ends, children stop moving. As soon as the music starts up again, resume singing and walking along the path.
Use a bingo game that you already have. Set the regular rules aside. When a child has the item called out on his bingo card, he must stand up and perform a specific action (jump, spin around, touch his toes, etc.). Have fun exploring different actions.
And there you have it! Have fun with your group and enjoy being active!
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