Even though Montessori education encourages movement in learning activities, it helps to have a systematic program for large-motor coordination. I’m excited about the Family Time Fitness program for homeschools, co-ops, schools, youth sports, and families in general. It’s a perfect way for families to get fit together!
I would have loved to have a program like Family Time Fitness when I started homeschooling. Not only would it have given me a way to systematically add large-motor activities to our homeschooling, but it would have helped me identify my son’s strengths and interests in sports much sooner. You can read more about that in my Family Time Fitness review at Bits of Positivity.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of the Family Time Fitness Core 1 Curriculum Program, which I used for my review at Bits of Positivity and to create activities for this post.
Creating a Physical Fitness Movement Shelf and Area in a Classroom or Homeschool
Montessori Works has a great idea for creating a movement shelf for children who need extra movement during the regular work cycle in a Montessori school. This would also work well in a homeschool. Especially when there are older children, movement trays and/or baskets would be perfect for allowing 3-6 year olds a chance to repeat fitness activities that older children wouldn’t need as much practice with.
The Family Time Fitness program is designed for ages 5-13, but many of the activities would work well for preschoolers. Today, I created a few Montessori-inspired activities using Family Time Fitness products for preschoolers. This is just a small sampling of activities. There are many more activities that can be created using Family Time Fitness products for preschoolers as well as older children. You could rotate physical fitness activities according to your child’s or students’ abilities and interests.
Each of the Family Time Fitness activities has a description of the activity and materials needed (typically inexpensive and easy-to-find fitness materials). There’s also a link to a video demonstrating each activity. I’m sharing ideas for activities that could be placed on a shelf for preschoolers. It would be perfect if you have an outdoor classroom where your child or students can go indoors or outdoors freely and safely. Not many schools or homeschools have that option, however. If you don’t have that option, preschoolers could take the fitness trays outdoors during recess or could do the activities indoors in a specified area of the classroom or home.
If you have a large rug in a certain area of your classroom or house, that would work well for physical fitness activities. Here are some examples of Montessori-inspired activities you could create from Family Time Fitness activities:
Tray for Line Jumps
This tray contains a rope, tape to hold the ends securely on a rug, and a geometry card showing a line from a free printable from Homemade Montessori. (Update: The site isn’t available right now, but you can find a free card with a line in the free geometry vocabulary cards from Mrs. Patton’s Patch.) The card isn’t essential, but it’s a simple way to identify the tray and introduce a straight line to preschoolers.
I would just demonstrate whichever activities from the video are appropriate for your preschooler or preschool students.
Tray for Jump the River
This tray contains two ropes, tape to hold the ends securely on a rug, and a geometry card showing parallel lines from a free printable from Homemade Montessori. (Update: Again, the site isn’t available right now, but you can’t find a free card with parallel lines in the free geometry vocabulary cards from Mrs. Patton’s Patch.) The photo below shows an example of how children could place the ropes to make parallel lines. I cut the pieces of rope so they’re long enough for two children to do the exercise side by side if they choose.
Basket for Ball Exercises
For this activity, I simply placed different sizes of balls in a basket.
For this activity, I’d recommend just demonstrating the activities from the video that your child or students could work on successfully. They could experiment with balls of various types and sizes.
Note: I have a roundup post with many more ideas for Montessori-inspired movement activities.
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