Physical activity is an important part of children’s development, and movement is an important part of the Montessori curriculum. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Regular physical activity can help children improve cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, control weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of developing various health conditions.” Learning to incorporate physical activity into their everyday lives is a great lesson for preschoolers and kindergartners.
Activities that focus on play and fun will help encourage young children to engage. Here are some indoor and outdoor ideas for how to make physical activity fun for young kids at home:
Use large, soft objects like balls, rolled-up socks or bean bags to practice catching, throwing, and kicking.
Play music and dance around the room
Invent silly games to encourage walking or running, like “guess the animal” where you move like a monkey, flap like a bird, etc.
Toss and catch feathers or balloons before they reach the ground
Follow the leader and encourage kids to copy your moves like hopping up and down or crawling on all fours
Red light, green light – Kids run towards you when you say green light but have to stop when you say red light
For more short exercises to help kids get moving during the day, we recommend trying out Allina Health’s Health Powered Kids.
Monarch Montessori School is a nonprofit preschool and kindergarten located in St Paul, Minnesota. We serve children ages 33 months through six years old. At Monarch, we have a fenced-in outside play area for our children. We play and encourage movement throughout the day.