Exercising is an integral part of living a healthy lifestyle. When children participate in physical activity at an early age, they learn best through play, which makes it so much more fun!
I like to create games using exercise equipment that is not commonly used with very young children. When I introduce new equipment to children, such as bands and yoga straps, they become very curious and excited. I do not do this all the time, but occasionally I like to surprise the kids, and expose them to what is out there. As you will see below, children participate in various exercises to help increase coordination, strength, balance, body awareness, and keeping the heart pumping.
The children get use to a routine that involves starting fitness class with warming up and ending the class with cooling down.
– Make sure the room is clear of any obstructions.
– Keep a close eye on children at all times.
– If children are running on a wooden floor or slippery surface, make sure they put on running shoes or go bare foot.
– Explain the rules of the game. What can ONLY be done with the equipment.
Children learn to warm up before exercising with various yoga poses. Dragon pose is one of their favorites because they get to blow fire from their mouths. This is a great way to introduce breathing techniques.
BALANCING EXERCISES – using the band
A great way to use the 1/4 inch rubber band. Children love to help set up. They get to work as a group and place the band in a straight line to represent a tight rope. This is a great way to work on coordination and proprioceptors. You should see how they concentrate!
STRENGTHENING, BALANCING, AND BODY CONTROL EXERCISE – using the yoga strap
Children adore pulling on the strap to test their strength. This is a wonderful group activity that requires moving together to keep the shape of a circle. One child enters the round elevator. The children start on the ground in a squat position. The person in the middle says what floor he/she wish to go (for example 11th floor). The children slowly rise up from squat position and count to the number 11. Children especially love running in a circle while holding onto the strap. It is important to supervise closely when using any of the equipment.
CARDIO EXERCISE – using bands
Children love these colorful bands! They can roll it and fold it, and make different shapes on the floor. The kids love working together to form a train track. I love watching the group solve problems and making things work. Once everything is set up, the kids line up like a train, and run on the track. They also take turns to be the conductor and the caboose.
This is a great way to have children relax and to bring their heart rate back to normal. Cooling down also helps with transition from one activity to another. It works very well for me. Try it and let me know how it works for you.
Try these exercises at home, and let me know how much fun you had! I look forward to hearing your feedback.
Why is it important to exercise at a young age. Check out the link below.