Movement is a life-long activity; therefore it is important to teach our toddlers and preschoolers about sports, fitness, and movement. This is a fun week of open-ended play, watching and playing sports, and exploring how our bodies actually move and work. For us, this also correlated with the start of football season, so what better time to kick off a sports theme?
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Books, Supplies, & Resources about Movement, Sports, and Fitness
This is a great week to revisit some of the ideas from the learning body parts unit. In fact, the wiggle song (below/to the right) is from that week and is a fun way to recap some of what was learned from body parts, but also a great way to get some movement into the week. Feel free to use and print it!
Utilize the outdoors and parks to go on hikes, bike rides, swing, run, jump, climb, and more.
Golden Reflections Blog has a great resource explaining why physical activity and gross motor skills are important for your child’s development.
Toys, Games, and Resources
- Thinkfun Roll and Play Board Game and/or Move and Groove Dance Game are both phenomenal and fun ways to get little ones moving and having fun while doing it!
- Play with a Bilibo. It’s a great toy in terms of open-ended play because it forces creativity and encourages movement. My daughter loves to play with hers! She stands on it, sits in it, spins in it, and does all sorts of fun movements with it.
- Learn the signs for different sports. My daughter loves Signing Time and we learn lots of signs in American Sign Language to help facilitate our weekly learning themes. This one was her favorite week to learn the signs for!
- Consider getting a balance board or making one. This is a great way to work on both gross motor development and focus.
- Make or find some animal cards to buy so that you can have animal movement relay races/competitions. For instance, “Who can stand like a flamingo the longest?” (This is fun even if it’s just you and one toddler!)
Books (click the images below)
Vocabulary to Teach Preschoolers about the Fine Arts
Some words to consider implementing this week are as follows: football, baseball, basketball, biking, soccer, tennis, hiking, walking, running, spinning, twirling, jumping, swimming, the Olympics, World Cup, Super Bowl, etc..
Activities to teach movement, fitness, and sports
- Go through my 10 easy gross motor skills for toddlers to not only get them moving, but encourage proper development.
- Go on a bike ride – my daughter loves to ride her little bike around. Though hers is a wooden trike with no pedals, it’s great gross motor development and gets her moving.
- Dinosaur Obstacle Course from Craftulate
- Take a daily walk each morning or evening. This is just great time to spend together as a family, but also gets you moving. You might even talk each day about what you are going to learn/have learned and how life-long physical activity benefits us.
- Gross Motor Number Recognition game from Danya Banya
- Make your books “come alive” by acting them out. Choose any book and see if you can get up and make it about movement instead of just sitting and reading.
- The Wheels on the Bus Gross Motor fun from 3 Dinosaurs
- Play with a Bilibo and let your child choose their own movements whether to stand, spin, sit, rock, climb, etc.. It doesn’t seem like much, but it really brings her so much joy and there are so many activities she has done herself with it.
FITNESS & SPORTS THEME IDEAS
- Go to a local sporting event. Whether it’s something big like a professional sport or just a high school game, this is a great way to get your little ones interested in sports and fitness.
- Garden Yoga Poses (to go with Eric Carle Books) from Kids Yoga Stories
- Lift weights together. Obviously the ones for your toddlers would be something like half pound ankle weights. This would be a great discussion on getting our muscles healthy and strong.
- Scooter Board Obstacle Course Relay from Golden Reflections Blog
- Do some stretching together. My daughter and I do 10 basic stretches almost every day together and she loves being involved. It helps both of us too because mine is prenatal exercises and for her it burns some energy. (Click the link to see how we do them together)
- Rhythm sticks for dancing from Adventures of Adam
- Organize other toddlers and preschoolers to play soccer or another sport together. Even just kicking the ball around would be a fun way to learn and play.
Weekly Bible verse: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
See more weekly learning themes here.
Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!