Preschool kids acquire a great deal of knowledge through play. Games and activities are helpful teaching tools for providing the foundation of a lifetime of health and nutrition education 1. Preschool teachers and parents alike can use a variety of games and activities to reinforce healthy eating, the importance of exercise, anatomy and other health topics 3.
The game "Simon Says" can be adapted to an anatomy based learning activity. This game helps students identify parts of the body and helps strengthen listening skills. It also allows children to identify approximate internal organs, such as "touch your heart" or "touch your lungs," and to gain knowledge of anatomically correct terms like stomach instead of tummy.
Hygiene and Disease Prevention
Paper plate and construction paper craft projects featuring sneezing and coughing faces help teach children the importance of covering their noses and mouths when they're sick. This project teaches kids some of the ways diseases are spread from person to person while at the same time improving their vocabulary about how their own bodies are feeling. This project can be combined with a lesson in hand washing and how hand washing helps prevent illness.
Posters and charts that display healthy foods and unhealthy foods are good visual learning tools that you can make with preschoolers. Children can compare their own meals and snacks to the images they've placed on each chart to help build a foundation for future healthy food choices.
A physical activity reward chart teaches children what 60 minutes of planned physical activity per day feels like -- the amount of exercise the kidshealth.org recommended It's a useful teaching tool for parents who want to both explain what counts as physical activity and to reward kids who complete their activities 3. This activity also teaches kids that physical activity and fin go hand in hand, and that play is a valuable way to be healthy.
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