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By GreatSchools Staff
In PE kindergartners should focus on activities that incorporate the abilities to, stretch, bend, twist, turn, push, and pull. Balance is an especially valuable skill, requiring both strength and concentration, and children can improve their balance by trying creative new poses. “Children have such great imaginations,” says Kaiser, “they can create their own balance positions — a lion pose, a cobra stretch, or a crab balance. Kindergartners [love] to form their bodies into the shapes of letters.”
Balance is equally important as a building block for other exercises and relaxation techniques. “Balance [can be] a foundation for many sports and a good tool for stress-reduction activities like yoga,” Kaiser explains. “Young children who practice balance are also practicing focus and concentration, two very important skills for academic success.”
Kindergartners should learn how to throw Frisbees, small beanbags, and balls, learning the proper stance, steps, and follow-through moves. They should begin to develop their throwing, catching, and kicking skills, while practicing bouncing a ball using two hands and one hand. Kids should also practice their ball skills using their feet.
Children begin to learn to identify the parts of the body, learning how to move them during stretching and exercise. Playing games — like “Hokey Pokey” and “Simon Says” — is also great way to reinforce their new knowledge. They can use their body to show that they understand the concepts of “over,” “under,” “behind,” and “through.”
Children should learn the importance of teamwork, as well. “Good sportsmanship in kindergarten is as simple and important as taking turns and recognizing others during a game,” says Kaiser. “Children at this age learn to work in pairs and small groups and can learn to appreciate others,” she adds. “It is very satisfying to hear children compliment each other when they’re trying out difficult tasks.”
Expect kids to learn how to follow the rules and procedures involved in various games and activities, including how to share and take turns. Finally, children should be taught safety. They should learn how to safely use and care for sports equipment and, more importantly, how to look out for themselves.
Updated July 2010
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