Monday, January 4, 2010

Preschoolers in Child Care Centers Not Active Enough by Rae Pica

According to a new study from researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, only 13.7% of child care centers in North Carolina offered 120 minutes of active playtime during the school day. The good news is that in 82% of the centers, children were not sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time and about 56 percent of centers had a written policy on physical activity.

Another study published by the same group found that only nine studies, all conducted since 2003, have tested ways to help young children in child care centers become more physically active.

The study recommended that researchers look at all areas of the child care environment, not just the amount of time children are provided for play. For example, other areas that relate to physical activity at preschools include the physical environment (such as fixed and portable play equipment), sedentary environment (such as television viewing time and the presence of TVs and computers in classroom), staff training and behaviors (such as staff joining in active play and providing verbal prompts to increase active play) and a written physical activity policy.

To this I would add: Look at how transitions can be used to increase physical activity levels, and incorporate movement into the curriculum!

Rae Pica is a movement specialist. For more information go to her website:


“Making Math Meaningful” by Nettie Fabrie, Wim Gottenbos, and Jamie York. A Scource Book for Teaching Math in Grades One through Five

“String, Straightedge and Shadow” by Julia E. Diggins. Using only three simple tools - the string, the straightedge, and the shadow - men discovered the basic principles and constructions of elementary geometry more than two thousand years ago. This book reveals how these discoveries were made and shows how they were related to the early civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece.

“Moving through all Seven Days” by Kathy Stemke

“Jump into Math” by Rae Pica. The activities in each chapter are organized by level of difficulty, and each one incorporates fun, exciting math experiences with movement.

“Learn to Count 1-10 with Professor Hoot” author, artist: Eugene Ruble.

“Shaping up the Year” author: Tracey M. Cox, artist: Samantha Bell. Uniquely illustrated with cut out art. Teaches shapes, colors, and counting with activity pages, too.

Moving Through all Seven Days link:
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