Fit Kids is a preschool enrichment program built on the idea of teaching children to view being healthy as a positive, fun and exciting choice. This program is led by me, Liz, and my partner, Kristin. You can read more about us here!
Today we wanted to share with you some of the super fun ways we’ve been using the Olympics to get our fit kiddos extra motivated about staying healthy and strong! OUR FAVORITE WAYS TO TEACH PRESCHOOLERS TO MOVE THEIR BODIES AND GET EXCITED ABOUT THE WINTER OLYMPICS!!
1)THE TORCH RUN - One fun way to introduce the Olympics is the torch run. I showed the kids a map of Greece and explained that Olympics first started there a really long time ago. I explained how the torch gets lit in Greece and gets carried person by person, city by city until it reaches the city where the Olympics are this year and the last person in the relay uses it to light the Olympic Cauldron. I set up cones around my space and tell them the first one is in Greece. I put a kiddo at each cone and tell them they are another city on the way to the Olympic city. I start the race and pass off to the first student, who then runs it to the next student, and so on until the last student reaches the final cone where I have them pretend to light the Olympic Cauldron. The kids love it and it’s super easy to repeat, as the kids are already in a new position to do it all over again. They are working on running skills, learning to pass something off to the next person and anticipating having something passed off to them. It also can take a lot of self-control for a preschooler to wait their turn when they see another student running. Not to mention getting in some good Geography and history vocabulary! The torch doesn’t have to be elaborate. A paper towel tube and some orange and yellow tissue paper stuffed down into it work perfectly. 2)THE SKI SLALOM: -One of our other favorite activities was the Ski Slalom. After putting cones in a zig-zag pattern across our space, students got a pair of “ski poles”, or pool noodles (cut in half). When they start, students run back and forth across the zig zag pattern, and if they can, I encourage them to pump their “ski poles” forwards and backwards as they go. This is a great way for them to practice changing directions while running. They cross the finish line with their ski poles up in victory! 3)SKIING: - Ski events are easily adaptable. Kids can cross country ski by placing paper plates under their shoes. They slide across the room or down the hallway using the same pool noodle “ski poles” pumping at their sides. Make it a biathalon by having them throw a bean bag at a target! It’s so much fun! 4) ICE SKATING: -Probably my favorite was ice skating. I dug deep in my husbands sock drawer to find old, holey, mismatched ankle socks. I slid them over the kids’ shoes and we were ready to go. We talked about speed skating first and practiced going in a circle around our “track”. And of course it wouldn’t be the Olympics for me without figure skating! I turned on some fun music and showed them how to twirl, slide sideways and backwards and challenged them to carefully jump every now and then. This takes a lot of body control and balance and is a fun way for them to practice those skills. We, also, used our paper plates to ice skate - speeding skating - figure skating - couples skating! So many fun ways to slide around!! 5) CURLING: - Bean bags worked great for a variety of Olympic activities but one of our favorites was curling. We focused on sliding the bean bags across the floor. For the older kids we did competitions to see who could slide theirs the farthest while the little ones just practiced sliding their bean bags. 6) THE LUGE - THE SKELETON - THE BOBSLED : -Sharing these events was super fun!! Showing them pictures of the various sports taught them about how each event worked, with participants laying flat on their back (the luge), head first on their stomach (the skeleton) and partnering up for the bobsled. We used a real sled that kids took turns riding in. They also used a scooter board to lay on their stomach and scoot forward - making their own Fit Kids version of The Skeleton.
The Olympics provided us with so many opportunities to encourage our Fit Kids students to move their bodies in a variety of ways. They were able to view how not only does staying strong keep you healthy - but how staying strong is an important skill that can lead to becoming a true athlete! Maybe even an Olympic athlete!!