There are many reasons for preschoolers to have some type of physical fitness in their daily lives. Below are five reasons children need physical activities daily :
They should have at least 60 minutes of structured physical activities daily because it will help improve a child’s fitness.
Preschoolers should also have 60 minutes or more of unstructured physical activities and should not be still for more than 60 minutes unless it is naptime to encourage expressive and imitative thought and problem solving.
They should develop competence movement skills that help build them up for more complex movements tasks to instill a love for movement.
Preschoolers should also have indoors and outdoor area for large motor muscle activities that is safe and recommended for standards to increase awareness of the body in space.
Individuals (teachers, parents, and staff) are responsible for the well-being of preschoolers and be aware of the importance of physical activity and facilitate the child’s movement skills to reinforce a good self-concept through participating in success oriented tasks.
Three developmental skills that children learn at preschool age are locomotor and manipulative skills. Locomotor skills involves moving the body. This is learned through running, jumping, hopping, sliding, leaping, skipping, and galloping (www.naeyc.org). Manipulative skills are used to throw, roll, kick, dribble, strike, and bat (www.naeyc.org). People think that the locomotor skills comes natural, but children are taught to do them most of the time. And manipulative skills are needed to play sports and games. If these skills are not learned, children could have problem later in life learning them and not being able to do something as simple as throw a baseball.
Then there is the “body smart” skill children that do not need much help from an adult to learn many of the fundamental motor skills. They are just talented and most of the time they are from low-income families with limited resources (www.naeyc,org). They children usually do not have many places to play so they must become creative.
When a child do not engage in healthy fitness activities they may become overweight or obese. If they are not taught the importance of exercise and healthy nutrition, they will think it is okay to eat what ever they want, when ever they want, and how much they want. They need to understand that not getting enough physical fitness early could lead to health problems later, especially for the heart.
Adults can help children develop good fitness habits by encouraging them to be physical activity at school. They may use a locomotor skill such as jumping the shot. They would do this by having an adult squat in the center of a circle of children and slowly swing a rope with a bean bag tied on the end. The children must jump over the bag as it comes around to them and for a small child, stop the rope for them to jump.
Now. for a manipulative skill, a child could play catch or throw and change up the distant and the sizes of balls the child can throw. Then the child could throw a ball of a different sizes to different distant for another child to catch it. This would be a challenge for the child, but it would be fine.
One quote that I liked was the one that said, “Childhood obesity and physical inactivity are clearly major concerns these days, and everyone in the educational community needs to be a part of the solution” (www.naeyc.org), and it says a lot to anyone that love children. It emphasized how important health and exercise is in the life of a child. It also remind adults about the need for them to promote and encourage fitness for their children in the classroom. Basically everyone should be educated and or educating when needed, on the importance of health. Let’s encourage physical education and get out there and run with the children, if they see the adults do it and like it then they will do the same.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY is a 60 minute must in the daily schedule for children and need to be for adults. It help promotes fitness and healthy eating. It teaches them how to use their locomotors skills and teaches them or develop their manipulative skills to help them with sports and games. It will help keep obesity and diseases under control because weight gain do causes these problems in children. Make sure your child exercise and eat healthy,
Goodway, J. D., & Robinson, L. E. (2006, March). SKIPing toward an active start: Promoting physical activity in preschoolers. Beyond the Journal: Young Children on the Web. Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/200605/GoodwayBTJ.pdf
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2006, May). Resources for encouraging good nutrition and physical fitness. Beyond the Journal: Young Children on the Web. Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/200605/ResourcesBTJ.pdf