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Volume 2 Issue 5
June 2004


Jump Into June

WELCOME! to Education World's Early Childhood Newsletter. Each month, I'll share some ideas on a familiar teaching theme. Hopefully you will find a new activity idea or two -- or a new twist on one of your old favorites! Since I know you are very busy, I'll be short and sweet -- like most of activities I suggest.

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June -- it's jumping out all over. Yes, jumping. The other day, I passed neighborhood children waiting for the school bus. They had a surprise for me. Instead of greeting me with their usual waves, they jumped -- big jumps! And they jumped for the next car too. A glance in my rear view mirror showed the children convulsed in giggles and starting their day with joy.

Today's news reports bemoan the fact that children are becoming more sedentary and that childhood obesity is becoming more prevalent. This month we'll look at ways to get -- and keep -- children moving while keeping the joy of childhood intact. These will be less structured activities to stimulate imagination, create joy through movement, and banish boredom forever. For a bit, we'll have no winner and no loser. Just fun! So, make sure there's a shady spot for resting and water to drink. Take the children outside and jump into June!

Anne Guignon
Editor, Early Childhood Education Newsletter


(Remember, no contest -- just fun!)

Make Up a Game
Children can work in small groups to create games using different materials/objects each day. After creating a game, they can name it, and teach it to the class.
Suggested materials/objects/props:
--- one ball
--- two balls
--- a hoop
--- a stack of three blocks
--- one piece of paper
--- a cupful of water
--- a paper bag
--- a piece of chalk...

Make Someone Laugh
How can you move that will make someone laugh -- or smile?

Old Favorites
Try the old favorites with no winners or losers. The object is to move, have fun, and reach the finish line. Try
--- Follow the leader
--- Three-legged race
--- Sack race
--- Egg race (Carry a hard boiled egg on a spoon)
--- Invent your own race

It's an Obstacle, of Course!
Create an obstacle course in the schoolyard. You can use obstacles already there, using rope or chalk to mark the path. The next day, change the starting place and the sequence of obstacles. Ask students: What shall we add? What shall we remove?

Just Moooooooooooove!
--- How many ways can you cross a balance beam?
--- Draw small box with chalk, 24 inches square. How many different ways can you move without stepping out of a box?
--- Move with a ball held behind you.
--- Move with an object balanced on your head. Try a book, banana, crayon, ruler...
--- Run, jump, roll, tiptoe, walk on your hands, skip, gallop, slide… (No contest -- just fun!)

Not having enough fun? On a hot June day, add water to a previously "dry" activity!


Check out the following Web sites for more background and activities.

"Fitness Begins in Early Childhood," an article by Gary E. Sanders at earlychildhood.com. This article is short, sweet, and to the point.

"Physical Activity for the Whole Family," presented by The Karen Yontz Women's Cardiac Awareness Center in Wisconsin. This article includes benefits of exercise, ways to increase physical activity, and more exercise ideas. Quick, easy, fun(!). A good site to recommend to parents.

Education World "Let's Get Physical"
Filled with ideas to keep kids active as well as links to physical education Web sites.