Preschool kids, ages 3 to 5 years, burst developmentally. Their vocabulary and language skills increase by leaps and bounds. Their social emotional awareness and sensitivity often surprises adults. As their large muscles strengthen their small muscle use becomes more refined. They begin to draw shapes and letters. They learn songs, and remember the lines of favorite stories.
Preschoolers thrive developmentally when they have frequent chances to move. Their need for activity reveals itself every day! They bounce, fidget, make faces, and hum songs while playing. They become creative magicians as they draw, excavate, dance, and help with cooking. Preschooler senses are continually active, even when they seem to be otherwise. They hear, feel and see so much!
Engaging in physical movement activates a child’s senses by energizing muscles, bones, and organs. As children’s limbs and bodies move, their core warms, promoting healthy breathing, circulation, digestion, and elimination. According to Tucker (2008), just over half of children met the suggested level of 60 active minutes per day, as noted in a systematic review of preschool physical activity studies. This finding indicates the dramatic need for readily available physical activity for children throughout their waking hours. Settings for movement activities include home, childcare, preschool, friends’, and community centers.
- A minimum of 60 minutes of adult-guided activity, such as playing ball or other sports, swimming, or hide-and-seek (2014, p. 2); and
- At least 60 minutes of free play that is unstructured and includes, dancing, running, jump rope, digging, bike riding, or jumping jacks (p. 3)!
When families use these guidelines, they assure that children have the fun and benefit of moving throughout the day. They can talk with early childhood educators, trainers, coaches, and therapists about the physical activity options that are available for a community’s preschoolers. Commitment to children’s wellbeing shines when these include indoor and outdoor activities.
SMARTfit™ equipment includes an array of options designed to promote preschool kids’ physical, sensory, and cognitive development. To find out more please contact us at 1-800-900-8542 x 110
KidsHealth. (2014). Raising a fit preschooler. Retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/fit-preschooler.html?ref=search&WT.ac=msh-p-dtop-en-search-clk
Tucker, P. (2008). The physical activity levels of preschool children: A systematic review. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23(4), 547-558.