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Physical Fitness Activities for Preschoolers

by Wannikki Taylor

Introducing your preschool child to exercise will teach him the importance of physical fitness at a young age. Preschoolers learn how their bodies work by running, jumping, climbing, and exploring their world, according to Pediatrician David Geller from BabyCenter.com. Though your preschooler's usual daily routine likely consists of a sufficient amount of physical activity, think of additional ways to encourage him and his friends to get up and get moving.

Parachute Exercises

Engage preschoolers in simple exercises with the use of a colorful parachute. Find a wide, open area to place the parachute. Let the children gather around and hold the sides of the parachute. Ask them to do different exercises while they shake the parachute up and down with their hands, such as jumping up and down, squatting or counting numbers. Additionally, allow the preschoolers to use their imaginative skills to enhance the parachute exercises. Toss a few bean bags on the parachute and let them shake it up and down to make "popcorn" or add a few jump ropes on top to shake "snakes" and stop them from biting anyone. Preschoolers can pretend they are creating large and small ocean waves with parachute movements.

Fitness Song-alongs

Several children's songs will encourage preschoolers to get moving. The lyrics will serve as guidance to instruct the children through exercise movements. Let the preschoolers join you in singing "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes." Have them point to the different body parts as you sing together. Start the song slowly and then get faster and faster to make the movements more intense for the children. The "Hokey Pokey" will also offer a way for preschoolers to stay fit and familiarize them with body parts. Ask the preschoolers to form a large circle. Stand in the middle and have them follow your movements as you sing the lyrics together. Additionally, sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" for the children to practice hand exercises.

Local Field Trips

A simple outing will get preschoolers outside to get some exercise. Take them on a walk around the neighborhood and think of some themed objects to point out along the way, such as flowers or rocks. Take turns pointing out objects in different colors and shapes as you walk from block to block. End the walk by going to the local playground for unstructured physical play. The children can use the wide assortment of playground equipment to exercise on, such as swinging on the swings to strengthen leg muscles. Alternatively, take the preschoolers to a local gym that caters to children and enroll them in a one-day class. An instructor will engage them in fun movements and let them use kid-sized sports equipment.

Children's Fitness Center

Transform an area in your home into a preschool miniature gym and introduce the kids to several ways to exercise. Set up mats and equipment through out the room. Before you let the preschoolers have free play, warm them up with a few stretching exercises. Designate certain areas of the room for different exercises, such as a corner for jumping jacks or a on which mat to run in place. Create a section for basketball by placing bins on the floor for the preschoolers to toss plastic balls in. For indoor skating, tape waxed paper around their socks and let them glide across a carpeted floor area. Additionally, set up an obstacle course outside. Let the preschoolers run around boxes, crawl under chairs, hula hoop with their hips and jump on circle mats.

About the Author

Wannikki Taylor is a professional writer with a Bachelors of Arts in journalism from Temple University. She serves as a children's columnist and covers family entertainment for several print and online publications. She specializes in games, crafts and party planning ideas for kids and their families.

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