Act it Out
Pretend play is an easy way for preschoolers to practice movement skills. Ask your child to move like an animal. Say,
- Can you jump like a kangaroo? Walk like a penguin?
- Can you run like a panther? Gallop like a horse?
Do these movements together. Ask your child to think of more animal moves you can try together.
Have some fun by adding a silly story. Pretend to move like a bear on roller skates or a monkey jumping in a bounce house. Ask your child to think of more silly animal moves.
For a change, try sports moves. Ask,
- Can you show me how to throw a soccer ball? Kick a football?
- Can you dunk a basketball? Ride a surfboard?
Make it silly.
- Can you run in a bowl of pudding?
Pretend to go on a hike. Walk uphill, run downhill, and jump across a river.
Pretend to be a pirate. Row a boat. Swim fast. Walk the plank.
Let your preschooler help you in the kitchen! Your child can:
- Tear lettuce leaves
- Pull the husk off corn
- Help mix things
- Wash fruits and vegetables
- Remove seeds from melon
- Peel oranges
- Mash avocados
Show them how to:
- Use a dull knife to cut bread
- Spread jelly on toast
- Pour water
Be patient and do not worry or get frustrated if your child is not doing the job perfectly. Your child’s kitchen skills will get better with practice!
Your preschooler is ready to try to kick a rolling ball. A lightweight rubber ball or a beach ball is the right size for learning to kick.
Place a ball near your child’s foot and have them kick it. Try this a few times.
Then step back a few feet. Tell your child you will roll the ball to them. Ask,
- Are you ready to kick? before you roll the ball.
Slowly roll the ball on the ground to your child. It can take many tries before your child is able to kick the rolling ball. Be patient. Your child will need practice to kick the ball back to you.
Take more steps back as your child gets better at kicking the rolling ball. When kicking is easy for your child, try kicking the ball back and forth. Count the number of times you both kick the ball.
You can make a kicking goal. Place a big box or basket on its side. Show your child how to kick the ball into the goal. Say,
- Can you kick the ball into the goal?
- Try kicking with your left foot.
- Now try your right foot.
Do silly walks with your child! First, try a slow walk, like walking in mud. Then walk super-fast, but no running!
Now, try to walk sideways. You can say,
- This is tricky!
Now, walk backwards. Say,
- This might be hard, but let’s try.
Try to walk on tip-toes. Hold your child’s hands to help them. Say,
- Can you think of more silly ways to walk?
You can pretend to walk like animals. Say,
- How would a big bear walk? A penguin? A mouse? A gorilla?
Children love to move their bodies in silly ways. They really love when you are silly, too!
Dance with Me!
Play a song your child loves and say,
- Will you dance with me?
First, let your child move to the music any way they like.
- Then, ask your preschooler to match movements to the words and music in a song. Try the macarena, the baby shark song, or the chicken dance. You can make up movements to a favorite song!
Your preschooler might be ready to learn the latest dance craze. Show them the dance moves, put on some music, and have fun trying to do it. You only need music and a little space to dance! Your child is learning to move with rhythm.