NAEYC, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, and the US Department of Health and Human Services all recommend that preschool programs provide a playground that allows teachers to have the space and tools to have a physical education program. There are many reasons why. First, young children form healthy habits early in life. They learn to brush their teeth, bathe themselves, and eat nutritious foods. It is also an ideal time for acquiring fundamental movement skills. During preschool years children learn the basic movement abilities that are the foundation for learning more complex movement skills later in life. There has been much research stating that "children who feel good about their physical abilities have a better overall view of themselves." Teacher directed play and physical education programs contribute to the development of self-esteem in elementary children and “may be the prime determiner of future behavior” (Gruber 1985). In other words, children who feel good about their movement abilities are less likely to become sedentary later in life.
We are fortunate to have six areas within our playground that allow us the space and the tools to have a top quality Physical Education Program
The first section of our play yard has an enormously large, covered area that allows children to play outside when it is raining and shades them in the summer from the hot sun. It is also an area that we do our gymnastics program.
This area provides:
- Child size tables and chairs for art projects, writing , coloring, painting .
- Outdoor blocks, cement chalk and paint easels.
- Bounce houses, gymnastic mats and apparatuses
- Adult size tables and chairs for family events
There is an expansive cement area where children can:
- Practice catching, dribbling, throwing and balls
- Ride a variety of bicycles and tricycles.
- Run, skip, hop and jump
We have a large sandbox for:
- Digging, sifting and building creative sand castles and water ways.
- using toys for imagination play. ie trucks, cars, kitchens, tables pots, pans, plates, glasses to enrich our imagination play.
There is a garden area with a cute little barn.
- Flower and vegetable boxes.
- Visiting pets stay in this fence area to be e safe and sound.
In the fifth section is a large bark area where we have climbing bars, play houses and slides
We have a lawn area that provides:
- A large limbing structure .
- Lawn toys
- Bubble blowing items
- Water table toys
In summer the teachers also set up water slides, sprinklers and large wading pools. A summer highlight!