It can be tough finding appropriate physical education activities for young children. These children, ages 4 to 8, have very different developmental needs and abilities than older children. Activities for these children need to focus on learning the fundamentals that will help them be successful in future physical education classes. Below are a few resources from Human Kinetics that will help you develop enriching physical education programs for young children.
Children under the age of 8 love to move—be it run, hop, jump, wriggle, squiggle, skip, or tumble. Now, with Early Steps Physical Education Curriculum: Theory and Practice for Children Under 8, you can turn that natural energy and enthusiasm into solid social learning and a lifelong love for healthy and active lifestyles. Early Steps Physical Education Curriculum offers a top-notch curriculum, well-researched information and instruction, and engaging and fun games that help children develop social skills and acquire a basic knowledge of what it means to be healthy and active as they continue to grow. It's a great resource for teachers, students, child-care professionals, and all those who work with preschool children or who train those who will work with preschoolers.
Physical Education for Young Children offers guidance in teaching across subject areas to provide an interdisciplinary approach, offers sample lesson plans to meet the unique needs of the little ones, and lists resources for children's music, equipment, and props. Chapter 1 explores aspects of physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development as they pertain to teaching 4- to 8-year-olds. Chapter 2 helps teachers understand how to use what they know about young children to create and maintain a positive atmosphere in the gym. Chapters 3 and 4 delve into movement concepts and an appropriate progression for acquiring motor skills. Chapter 5 covers developmentally appropriate fitness for the little ones, and chapter 6 addresses manipulative skills. These skills, which receive the greatest attention in most PE programs, are saved for late in the book because kids need to master basic locomotor and nonlocomotor skills before focusing on manipulating objects. Chapter 7 offers guidance on linking the activities in the gym with those in the classroom. This not only generates enthusiasm among the kids, but it also helps PE teachers serve as advocates for the physical education field. The appendixes provide sample lesson plans and a variety of resources.
Through Purposeful Play: Early Childhood Movement Activities on a Budget, you can create an exciting, easy-to-use movement program for minimal cost. The book features 36 energizing activities and 104 classroom-tested variations that use commonly available materials and require minimal space. The activities will help preschool through early elementary age children learn movement, fitness, and nutrition skills and concepts, and have lots of fun doing it! Part I helps teachers prepare for purposeful play. It introduces the types of activities in the book, addresses how to include children with special needs and adapt activities for a wide range of abilities and needs, and discusses what type of equipment is needed, as well as how to set up, use, and store the equipment. It also helps teachers incorporate music into the activities to facilitate the learning and make it more enjoyable. Part II presents the activities. These include inexpensive starter activities; activities using ropes, pulleys, eyebolts, and noodles; rain gutters; "veggie and fruit" activities; and move-and-match activities. Part III features program material: cycling skills and safety, fitness and nutrition, and special events for every month. It even includes a motivational program involving Lucy the Whale, a 55-foot inflatable whale!