Week of September 19th
Another week has come and gone. Except for the continued heat I am excited for Fall, my favorite time of the year. I love football, jeans, and sweatshirts; except for the heat. So no jeans and sweatshirts yet. There has been some relief which has been great for our outside classes.
A little known fact is that we are in our nineteenth year of SNG in Greenville. It is hard to believe that I started this when my oldest daughter was four and now is 23 and in grad school. We have had multiple children from the same families over the years. This I think is a tribute to striving to make fitness fun and educating them in health, hygiene, nutrition, safety, and character. Perhaps a fun fact (at least to me) is that as hard as I try to let children know my name is Coach Good they always call me Stretch-N-Grow.
Threes and Fours
While teaching a class of threes this week we had to navigate some stairs. It was interesting to watch them go down for class and then up afterward. One boy has to hold my hand going down and then going up he didn’t have to hold a hand but was unbalanced. This got me thinking about the gross motor skills we teach – “stair climbing”. Not that we do this for class but during class we “march”, which is the same mechanical movement. Marching teaches balancing on one foot while moving which is what we do going up or down stairs. Stairs just adds more of a strength and balance dynamic to the movement. To add strength, we hop, first with two feet and then on one. Hopping adds strength and balance.
This week as the activities have progressed the stories have gone away. Your child should be able to answer at least one of the following questions: What kind of bird is so big it can’t fly and puts its’ head in the sand? What is Winnie the Pooh’s favorite food and where does he find it? Where do we drive our bus to?
The skills for three and four year olds are listening, spatial awareness, and gross motor skills. We started with Dancing Body Parts, then progressed to Freeze Dancing listening for the music to stop. We added cues: last week was Freeze and this week is Rabbits (four year olds listen for Fox in the woods). While the children move in space they have to watch out for each other (spatial awareness). We then added cones for them to move around. This week we have cones and dots. The dots are rabbit holes. On the cue Rabbits (3’s) or Fox in the woods (4’s), they have to get in a rabbit hole as fast as they can. In between cues we have the walk (starting slow) then gallop, march, skip, run (fastest). So we have a combination of skills all working together. Moving in space using gross motor skills without running into a friend, listing for the music to stop or the command of freeze, rabbits, or fox in the woods.
Ostrich stretch with putting our heads in the rabbit hole. These are also the cones and dots we move around using listening skills and spatial awareness.
Being creative with our dots “pizza”.
Our exercise for the 3’s: Ostrich Stretch, Cobra Stretch, Roll Down, & Dinosaur Walk.
The 4’s: Bicycle, Tree Pose, Cobra Stretch, & Lunge
We used bands to demonstrate how our muscles stretch and get stronger.
The five year olds got to stretch the bands on their own to demonstrate how our muscles can get stronger, but I do prefer body weight exercise with this age. Our exercises this month have been Dead Bug, Windmill, Arrow Stretch, and Lunge. Our muscles involved are Abdominals, Obliques, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, and Gluteals.
This week the five year olds are continuing their rolling. Our progression is rolling with gross motor skills, rolling to a target, then rolling to a partner. This week we ending with an application: kickball. Each child was able to roll to a partner for them to kick it. We stressed the importance of making a good roll so our partner can kick. The kicking partner was then able to run bases. I want them to be able to apply the skills they learn. Most skills will apply to a sport, but the underhand motion has many more applications.
I hope all of you are having a great weekend. I will be going away next weekend. Michigan and Wisconsin play at the Big House and I plan on being there. I can’t commit to an update for next week.