ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary Education

ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary EducationLead advisor on early childhood care and education 
National membership 
organisation

Publisher of the New Zealand-International Research in Early Childhood Journal

 

Activities and play ideas

Teaching Pre-schoolers Sports

running raceBy Warwick Marshall
© ChildForum

 

Have you ever heard a sports coach or commentator describe something good a player did saying, “that is natural talent, you can’t teach that”.  This article argues that through the artistry of teaching there is a way it can be taught… the early childhood educator's way!

Sports are a huge part of most communities, is this reflected in early childhood curricula?  Are ECE home and centre-based services  and parents doing enough to provide opportunities for young children to discover and enjoy sports?  Children enjoy playgrounds with slides, climbing equipment and sandpits. They also enjoy excursions to the supermarket, to a café, to the Zoo and sometimes simply to another playground.  But what about bringing sports into the playgrounds and including them in trips out? 

Sports may be seen as developmentally inappropriate and considered too structured, too competitive, lacking creativity and being closed rather than open ended activities. Sports-minded people might argue the opposite; sports provide young children with wonderful learning opportunities as well as building perseverance, self-esteem and creativity. 

Can ‘P.E.’ be a part of an ECE curriculum?  Perhaps, but of course only by doing it the ECE way! 

 

How to teach sports to pre-schoolers

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