Get Up and Move
- Target Age: 3-6
- Learning Goals: Healthy Eating & Exercise
- Related Episode: Episode 217: Get Up and Move
There are so many simple ways to keep our bodies healthy. Learn a few fun ways in this activity about healthful habits.
- Books, photos, or websites that show birds and planes
- Chart paper and pen
- Science journals and colored pencils (optional)
- This series of activities is all about healthful habits. Choose any or all of them for great ways to move, eat, and have fun.
- Observe both of the pumpkins. You and your child can describe what they look like, smell like, and feel like. (Use gloves if you touch the decayed pumpkin.)
- Get started by moving outside. You can walk to a local park, the school playground, or your own backyard. If it’s not a pleasant day outside, you can use an indoor space, like a gym. Consider mixing it up while you walk by stomping like elephants, “swimming” like fish, or hopping like rabbits.
- Once you get to the large space, spread out and get ready to move. On the show, Teacher Susie leads the kids in some yoga poses inspired by nature. For example, the tree pose involves standing tall, raising arms overhead with hands together, lifting one leg, and placing the bottom of the foot flat against the other ankle, calf, or thigh. (Don’t place it directly on the knee.) For young kids, the ankle is probably the best place to start since it’s the easiest alternative. A version of the frog pose involves squatting down with knees to the side and hands on the ground between them. You can check online for other poses – try using a search engine and typing “children’s yoga poses.”
- In addition to yoga (or instead), play some games that involve gross motor play (such as running, climbing, jumping, and skipping as opposed to fine motor play such as stringing beads, using crayons, or cutting with scissors). On the show, Sid’s mom leads the kids in a rousing game of Red Rover. Remember that one? It involves two teams holding hands and stretching out their arms. One team shouts to a player on the other side, “Red Rover, Red Rover, send Sid (or someone on the other team) right over!” Sid runs and tries to break through the line of people holding hands on the other team. If the player succeeds, he or she goes back to the original team. If not, he or she joins the team that successfully blocked. The game ends when one team ends up with all the players or when everyone’s ready for a snack! Other games that can get you moving include Simon Says (do jumping jacks, hop like a frog, run in circles) and Red Light, Green Light.
- Once you’ve worked up a thirst and are getting a little hungry, enjoy some cool water and delicious fruits and vegetables. Bon appetit!
Take It Further
- In the episode Teacher Susie takes the children to a community garden where she volunteers. If you have the space in your yard, consider planting a garden. If you have a patio or balcony, try container gardening. You can grow herbs, tomatoes, and other vegetables in small spaces. If you don’t have outdoor space of your own (and even if you do!) look into community gardens in your area. Giving kids a chance to connect to the earth and their own food through gardening combines exercise, work, and fun. Plus, lots of children are more willing to try new foods when they’ve grown them themselves.
- Dance is a terrific way to move. It's also an important part of many cultures. Children and families in your class might enjoy the opportunity to share dances and music from the cultures of their own family backgrounds. Maybe they can teach everyone a step or two!
- Safety is always first. If you are concerned about children's ability to engage in any of the activities described here or elsewhere, feel free to substitute other experiences.