Can your young child catch a ball, or balance on one foot? All parents and early childhood teachers are aware of the need for physical activity in the early years to combat obesity in our kids. There are new studies out that make physical activity and physical skills more important for your child's success in academics. These new studies show a definite correlation between good motor skills and success in school academics. Poor physical skills are linked to underachievement in school and poor grades in later years. Catching a ball, tying a shoe, and fine motor skill in using a pencil are all related.
Florida Sunshine State Standards have a definite core curriculum for physical skills. There are defined benchmarks for pre-k students to meet as their year in a pre-kindergarten program progresses. Gross motor activities in which a 4-year-old uses large muscles include running, jumping, hitting a tossed object with a long-handled tool, bouncing a large playground ball, and rolling/throwing an object in an underhand motion. Balancing skills are also measured.
Fine-motor skills for 4-year-olds include increasing control of small muscles, eye-hand coordination, that translates into pre-writing and early writing skills.
The private pre-kindergarten program at Primrose in the Lakewood Ranch area of Sarasota uses a recognized physical education curriculum to meet Florida Sunshine State standards for 4-year-olds. THUMBS UP! emphasizes basic motor skills in a developmentally appropriate way, and there is an emphasis on team play. The emphasis on team play is especially notable because young children can carry the ideas learned from playing on a team into a classroom experience in later school years. Learning to listen and follow rules in a team play activity translates into success in a classroom, along with the physical fitness skills.
Primrose Early Education Center is located at 9127 Town Center Parkway in the Lakewood Ranch area of Sarasota.
Let's get our young children active in developing basic physical fitness skills that will benefit both bodies and brains.