Michelle Obama put the spotlight back on the issue of childhood obesity with her Let’s Move Campaign. Now research by the Children’s Activity and Movement in Preschool Study (CHAMPS), found that preschools might be an appropriate place for preventive health measures, particularly activities that increase young children’s physical activity.
It’s important that children learn, at an early age, how to lead a healthy lifestyle. Early childhood educators have the unique opportunity to promote physical activity in young children and lay the foundation for gross motor development.
Parents also play an important role in placing children on the right path to living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. To encourage children to become active, here are a number of simple and helpful ideas that you can do at home with your young child:
2. It’s In Your Nature – Take your child on a nature walk. Use this great opportunity to talk to your child about plants and animals you see while getting fresh air and exercise.
3. Get Dramatic – When you’re transitioning a child from one activity to another – like play time to dinner time — ask them to move like their favorite animal. Hop like a kangaroo, slither like a snake or waddle like a duck.
4. Be a Good Sport – Preschool age children love to learn the basic rules of popular sports and games. Take this opportunity to talk about sportsmanship.
5. Be Free – Remember free play? Let go of some structure and encourage your children to use their imaginations in their indoor and outdoor play.
6. Stretch It Out – Preschoolers love basic yoga moves. Take a few minutes each day to stretch with your little one.
7. Put Some Movement In Your Music – When you sing songs or listen to music with young children, encourage them to dance with scarves, make up movements to go with the lyrics or just DANCE and move their bodies to the music.
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