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Pre-K activities, learning games, crafts, and printables


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Get moving activities

Children are often required to concentrate, to remain seated for several minutes at a time, and follow instructions throughout the course of a day. It is very important to plan certain periods where they can be active.

 

You can get children moving either through organized group activities, the material you provide, or outdoor play. When a daycare is large enough, an area can be set up specifically for the development of motor skills. In this area, children may discover and use as they wish various materials such as hoola hoops, balls, stilts, rhythmic ribbons...

 

Sometimes, gross motor skills are neglected. A daycare worker suggested the creation of an exercise routine which I thought was a wonderful idea! Here are games which will enable you to create a series of illustrated movements which can be repeated each day. Select a time of day which will be most beneficial for children in helping them balance their energy levels.

 

To help you determine the activities your exercise routine may include, I have prepared a list of various gross motor skill activities.

 

Dancing

  1. Make light scarves or handkerchiefs move to the sound of rhythmic music.
  2. Have children invent dance steps and show them to the group.
  3. Dance, dance, dance, freeze! Play music and encourage everyone to dance. When the music stops, children must remain perfectly still.
  4. Tie ribbon or crêpe paper to children's ankles and wrists. When they dance, the ribbon will follow their movements and twirl through the air.
  5. Organize a short workout session. Use physical activity DVDs as inspiration. Use similar movements, lively music, and equipment such as exercise mats, bottles filled with sand as weights, a towel draped around your neck, and a water bottle.

Ball games

  1. Bowling. Line up and stack small cardboard boxes, water bottles or soft drink bottles. Try to make them fall down by throwing tiny balls.
  2. Basketball. Throw a ball into a large box, an empty garbage can, or a net hung from the ceiling (like the ones which hold stuffed animals).
  3. Hang beach balls from the ceiling throughout the daycare. Children can hit them and make them bounce back and forth like punching bags.

Running

  1. Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, turtle! Children sit in a circle. One child walks around the outside of the circle, touching his friends' heads saying, "Rabbit". When he says, "Turtle", the child he touched must jump and run around the circle, trying to catch him.
  2. Have a three-legged race.
  3. Give each child a scarf or handkerchief. Have them place it in their backs, tucked into the top of their pants. They are foxes and you are the hunter. You must try to steal their tails. When you succeed, children become hunters too.

Imaginary games

  1. Imitate circus animals. Invent challenges and obstacles.
  2. Create an illustrated obstacle course. Use chairs, tables, tunnels, blankets, ropes, hoola hoops, benches, boxes, cushions...and transform real objects into imaginary ones. For example, tell children you are in an enchanted forest and they must jump over a lake, turn around the trees, go through a cave, etc.
  3. Imaginary visit to the zoo. Imitate various animals and animal sounds.

Group games

  1. The caterpillar game. Children crawl on the floor in a line, holding the ankles of the child in front of them. Everyone moves forward following an outlined path on the floor. You may also choose to make two teams and have a caterpillar race.
  2. Give each child a hoola hoop which he places on the floor. The hoola hoop represents his home. Give instructions such as: sit in your house, place one foot inside and one foot outside, etc.

I am sure the activity ideas above will help you find others and maybe even create your own little activity book for gross motor skills which corresponds to the needs of your group. Keep it handy and refer to it when the energy level rises. There is nothing like a little physical activity!

 

 

Sonia Leclerc

 


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