Updated: Dec 4, 2019
A quality physical education program should be a mandate in all pre-schools for the sake of overall development of physical and mental health of kids.
Primarily, a constant involvement in physical exercise builds strength and flexibility in muscles. It also improves their stamina, body endurance power and constitutes for a healthy cardiovascular functioning. The next important factor of physical activity in the early age is the development of motor skills. It is a vital skill to conquer in the early age for the development of an efficient muscle growth. A good amount of physical activity is also a pre-requisite for a child’s mental and intellectual growth. Research has shown that children who indulge in sports have a better grasping power, memory and intelligence.
Developing a sense of discipline right from the young age is very crucial in shaping one’s personality. An efficient physical training provides just that to kids. It is only a myth that children face no stress and worries. The fact is, even a young child can suffer stress and worries drawn from problems of their own little world. Physical activities help them to keep their mind calm and fresh, and overcome the stress.
It also builds their social skills like leadership qualities, interactive abilities, team spirit, positive attitude and many such attributes. Physical activity boosts confidence and kids who are physically active are prone to be more assertive and self-driven.
PE in Pre-school: Introducing physical activities in pre-school especially creates a competitive advantage to learn and adapt compared to older kids. Younger kids are fast learners, more inclined to quickly adapt to rules and discipline, grasping power, some things embedded in roots before the plant starts to grow.
Researched reasons to include P.E in Pre-School:
Early adaption of good and healthy habits: Physical activity is a healthy habit that is important to keep a person fit throughout his life and protects him from certain physical and mental illnesses. A young, growing child is quick in inculcating such habits than a grown man.
Ideal age to improve gross motor skills: Gross motor skills is a specialized set of movement skills where a child adapts the ability to carry out simple movements like walk, run, climb, throw. A good amount of physical activity at the pre-school stage is very crucial for a child to build these movement skills, that serves for the rest of his/her life. Physical exercise also contributes to everyday growth and development of the child.
Build overall confidence: An exposure to physical exercises not only benefits the physical growth of the child, but also tends to mental and social growth. It helps boost confidence in young kids. It also helps build social and interpersonal skills.
Meeting international standards: In many countries around the world, PE is encouraged to children right from pre-school. Many schools follow a curriculum met by global standards to inculcate a right physical routine in children right from young age. Following the international standards enables children to prepare themselves physically and mentally to face compete at the global level as they grow up.
Equal importance should be given to PE(Physical Education) along with other core subjects. All study and no play makes kids dull. It should be encouraged in a positive way and not forced on them, creating more pressure. The school should come up with an organized plan to allot regular slots of P.E classes. Also, a good skilled trainer should be assigned to carry out the classes.
As per the global standards, the below mentioned P.E routines and activities have proven to be ideal for per-schools:
Tag or chase: It is a childhood sport where the child runs across an obstacle course.
Catch or kickball: A game where the child kicks the ball into a goal or catches it before it reaches the ground.
Swimming & other water plays: A child puts double the effort in water to perform any physical activity.
Crawling through cardboard box tunnel: This activity trains the child to adapt his movement to a limited space.
Dancing: The child learns to perform a synchronized movement for a particular beat of music.
Rolling forward: The child learns to use the entire body for movement.
Hulla hoop: This activity improves flexibility in children.
Balloon Toss: A fun activity for kids where they toss around a soft object to each other. This activity helps them build force and focus.