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What Physical Development Skills do Kids Learn in Preschool?

Written by: Kokotree

Last updated:

preschool physical skills

As parents, we want the best for our children, including healthy physical development skills. It is important to recognize that physical activity is essential to a child’s overall development and should be included in their daily routine. 

Regular physical activity can help preschoolers develop strong muscles and bones and improve cognitive skills, social-emotional well-being, and more. 

Let’s take a look at why physical development skills are essential for kids to learn in preschool curriculums and some of the benefits they can reap from them. 

Types of physical development activities.

There are three main categories of physical development activities for preschoolers: fine motor skills activities, gross motor skills activities, and coordination, balance, and agility activities. 

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Fine and gross motor skills.

Fine and gross motor skills are essential for the development of preschoolers. 

Fine motor skills involve the small muscles in the hands and fingers. They are necessary for activities like writing, cutting, and coloring. 

Gross motor skills involve the larger muscles in the body and are critical for running, jumping, and climbing.

Examples of preschool fine and gross motor skills include using scissors, building with blocks, threading beads, playing on the playground, participating in sports activities, and dancing and moving to music.

Coordination, balance, and agility.

Coordination, balance, and agility are crucial physical development skills preschoolers can learn through various activities. 

  • Coordination involves the ability to use different body parts together smoothly and efficiently. 
  • Balance consists of maintaining control of the body’s position, either stationary or moving. 
  • Agility involves the ability to change direction quickly and efficiently.

Examples of activities to promote coordination, balance, and agility in preschoolers include:

  • Throwing and catching a ball.
  • Playing hopscotch.
  • Using a hula hoop.
  • Walking on a line.
  • Standing on one foot.
  • Balancing on a beam.
  • Playing tag.
  • Playing soccer.
  • Participating in obstacle courses.
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Health and fitness.

Regular physical activity is vital for the health and well-being of preschoolers. It can help preschoolers maintain a healthy weight, build strong bones and muscles, and improve their overall health and well-being. 

Incorporating health and fitness into the preschool curriculum can be achieved by incorporating regular outdoor play and physical activities into the daily routine.

Offering a variety of activities and games that promote movement and physical activity and encouraging healthy eating habits by providing healthy snacks and meals.

Outdoor play, physical activities, and movement games.

Outdoor play provides an excellent opportunity for preschoolers to engage in physical activity and explore the natural world. It can also promote creativity, problem-solving, and social skills

Examples of outdoor activities and movement games for preschoolers include: 

  • Playing on the playground
  • Riding bikes
  • Jumping on a trampoline
  • Participating in sports activities
  • Playing games like tag or Simon Says, and 
  • Engaging in nature-based activities like hiking, gardening, or exploring a local park. 

Benefits of regular physical activity for preschoolers.

Regular physical activity benefits preschoolers, including maintaining a healthy weight, building strong bones and muscles, improving cognitive development, enhancing social-emotional well-being, better sleep quality and self-confidence. 

Through regular physical activity, children learn how to handle their bodies better, which helps them develop better coordination skills that will serve them well when they start kindergarten. 

They also gain an appreciation for how their body works, which allows them to understand how to keep it healthy through good nutrition habits.

Preschool Physical Development Games

Physical development is a crucial aspect of early childhood education, and what better way to teach it than through interactive and engaging games? Games are an excellent medium for developing various physical skills in preschoolers, such as hand-eye coordination, strength, balance, and motor skills.

By participating in these games, children not only get the exercise they need but also learn important life skills like teamwork, following directions, and problem-solving.

  • Parachute Play Games — A group activity where children use a large parachute to perform various motions, enhancing coordination and teamwork.
  • Nature Walk Game — A guided walk in a natural setting where players can explore and learn about the environment, promoting physical activity and observation skills.
  • Count and Jump Game — Children jump a certain number of times as dictated by a leader, combining physical activity with counting skills.
  • Bean Bag Toss Game — Players aim to toss bean bags into a target, improving hand-eye coordination and focus.
  • Tug of War Game — Teams pull on opposite ends of a rope, a great exercise in teamwork and physical strength.
  • Obstacle Course Game — A course consisting of various physical challenges, teaching children to navigate and think quickly under pressure.
  • Ring Around the Rosie Game — A traditional circle game involving singing and falling down, enhancing coordination and group activity skills.
  • Duck Duck Goose Game — Players sit in a circle while one player taps heads saying “Duck, Duck, Goose,” teaching quick thinking and reaction times.
  • Musical Chairs Game — Players walk around chairs and must find a seat when the music stops, promoting attentiveness and quick reflexes.
  • Stop and Go Game — A game where children move when told “Go” and stop when told “Stop,” helping them learn to follow instructions and develop quick reflexes.

Final thoughts and critical points.

Promoting physical development in preschoolers is essential for their overall development and learning. 

By providing opportunities for physical activity, outdoor play, and movement games, preschool educators can help the development of fine and gross motor skills, coordination, balance, and agility in young children. 

This will help preschoolers develop the skills they need to be healthy, active, and engaged learners.

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