It is so important that we move and exercise our bodies. Exercising not only helps to keep us healthy but it has mental benefits as well. Often times when a child is not able to focus on a task or is having a hard time being still, it is probably because they have to get some energy out. I always include brain breaks throughout the school day to get the kids up and moving to release any wiggles or extra energy they are holding.
The Society of Health and Physical Educators recommends that children have 60 minutes of unstructured physical play. in addition, they need structured play at least 60 minutes a day overall. This can be broken down into smaller activities through out the day. You could do 10 minutes of playing soccer, then another 15 minutes of running around the back yard, and so on until you hit that 60 minutes. Structured play is important because small children need help learning motor skills. While your child is playing, you will see what movements and skills they have, and what movements/skills they need help on. Providing feedback so they can improve on those skills and movements is an important part of the learning process. For example, for soccer, small children will need to practice and learn how to kick, how hard or soft to kick, how to stop and go with the ball in different stages before they put it altogether. Most importantly, a child should not be sitting still for more than 60 minutes at a time unless they are sleeping.
Physical Benefits of Children Exercising:
Building strong bones and muscles
Helping to maintain a healthy body weight
Improve cardiovascular fitness
Develop fine and gross motor skills
Mental Benefits of Children Exercising:
Helps child relax
Reduces stress and anxiety
Improves confidence and self-esteem
Develops cognitive skills
Exercising has many benefits and provides a great opportunity to develop strong bonds between families and friends. I hope you have fun moving and learning!
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Christine S. | Lead Teacher