We just completed our first official week of Stretch-N-Grow. Although some schools have been going for up to three weeks now, I am happy that we are starting to have some continuity across all the programs now.
For those of you new to Stretch-N-Grow, we are a physical education and fitness based program. Our focus is teaching children to move, improve fitness, and most of all have fun. There are 10 gross motor skills we work on during the school year and consistently use at least 4-5 in every class. Although we are not a sports program we teach skills related to most sports. In addition to fun and fitness we include a curriculum that teaches health, hygiene, safety, nutrition, and character. Weekly coloring handouts will go home with your child on what we are teaching. Parents have a monthly newsletter that outlines our monthly program with stories and exercises.
Our Program format:
Warm-up Story, exercises, aerobic activity, warrior cool-down and weekly coloring paper.
Stories for this month:
Big Bird Who Can Fly – The children learn an Ostrich Stretch
Winnie the Pooh – Before climbing the tree we do a Tree Pose
A Trip to the Park – We tummy twist to clean the bus and end with a Dead Bug.
Activity 3’s and 4’s:
The three and four year olds have similar activities. Many of the three year olds are new so we start with keeping it simple and work on listening. Listening skills are critical to progressing our activities and keeping the children safe while moving.
This past week was Dancing Body Parts. The instructor leads with making a body part dance and the children follow. We follow up with freeze dancing, listening to music and stopping when the music stops. Nothing hard, just focusing on listening while moving.
We ended with a parachute. This is mostly about having fun but we learn about making waves and a cloud. Going under the cloud only when it’s their turn. Popcorn on the parachute is always a favorite as you see below. We end with a merry-go-round with walking, galloping, skipping, and running. Ring-around-the-rosy stops the movement.
Since many of these children have been through SNG for a couple of years we do a lot more activities directly related to sports but also important for daily activities.
This week’s activity is Solo Rolling. We use a variety of balls but practice an underhand movement. We discuss the underhand movement and keeping the ball in contact with the ground. Cones are set out to roll between so we can practice rolling straight but not aiming at a target. This is followed up by actually aiming for their cone.
After rolling, the fives will either run, gallop, or skip to get their ball. We believe in continually reinforcing gross motor skills, plus the moving gets their heart rates up.
Everyone is finishing with Warrior Poses/stretches while we recite character traits. If your child was in our summer program they will already know these. They have been a great addition to our program in teaching character, stretching, and cooling down after activity. The Warrior Poses are as follows:
Warrior 1 – I am Respectful
Warrior 2 – I am Kind
Warrior 3 – I am Fair
Reverse Warrior – I am Making Good Choices
Hero Pose – I am Honest
I may have left out a few things from the week. Check out the parent newsletter for exercises. If you have questions, please contact me and I will happily answer any questions. Please visit our Facebook page and “like” us to view pictures of some of our activities. https://www.facebook.com/impactyouthfitness/