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Physical Education for Young Children

Physical Education for Young Children



$29.00 USD

Available As


    Listen to author Rae Pica's podcasts on Body Mind & Child Radio.

    Through Physical Education for Young Children, you can

    • learn about the unique needs of 4- to 8-year-olds and write developmentally appropriate lesson plans to meet these needs,
    • provide a logical progression of movement skills and awareness of the elements of movement (space, shape, time, force, flow, and rhythm), and
    • develop kids’ motor skills, manipulative skills, and fitness while making connections across the curriculum.

    Physical Education for Young Children: Movement ABCs for the Little Ones author Rae Pica is constantly asked by elementary physical education teachers, “What am I supposed to do with the little ones?” Most college preparatory programs don’t address the issue, either, but Pica takes it on in Physical Education for Young Children: Movement ABCs for the Little Ones, coming to the aid of teachers who are stumped when it comes to the developmental needs and abilities of young children.

    Physical Education for Young Children places the focus squarely where it needs to be: on the fundamentals. The book provides teachers with the following tools:

    • A logical progression of movement skills, including the ABCs of movement, body-part identification, and nonlocomotor, locomotor, and manipulative skills
    • Awareness of the elements of movement: space, shape, time, force, flow, and rhythm
    • An understanding of the developmental differences between younger students and their older counterparts
    • Guidance in understanding the unique needs of 4- to 8-year-olds and writing developmentally appropriate lesson plans to meet those needs while making connections across the curriculum
    • Many activities that develop motor skills, manipulative skills, fitness, and the understanding of the elements of movement

    In addition, Physical Education for Young Children offers guidance in teaching across subject areas to provide an interdisciplinary approach, offers sample lesson plans to meet the unique needs of the little ones, and lists resources for children’s music, equipment, and props.

    Chapter 1 explores aspects of physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development as they pertain to teaching 4- to 8-year-olds. Chapter 2 helps teachers understand how to use what they know about young children to create and maintain a positive atmosphere in the gym. Chapters 3 and 4 delve into movement concepts and an appropriate progression for acquiring motor skills.

    Chapter 5 covers developmentally appropriate fitness for the little ones, and chapter 6 addresses manipulative skills. These skills, which receive the greatest attention in most PE programs, are saved for late in the book because kids need to master basic locomotor and nonlocomotor skills before focusing on manipulating objects.

    Chapter 7 offers guidance on linking the activities in the gym with those in the classroom. This not only generates enthusiasm among the kids, but it also helps PE teachers serve as advocates for the physical education field. The appendixes provide sample lesson plans and a variety of resources.

    With Physical Education for Young Children, PE teachers will no longer have to ask what to do with the little ones. They will know—and they will be able to build a physical education curriculum that serves the unique needs of 4- to 8-year-olds.


    Reference for preschool, kindergarten, and elementary physical education teachers and classroom teachers. Text for courses preparing future preschool, kindergarten, and elementary physical education teachers.

    Table of Contents


    Chapter 1: What Your College Courses Didn’t Tell You
    Physical Domain
    Social and Emotional Domain
    Cognitive Domain
    Remember This

    Chapter 2: Maintaining a Successful Learning Environment
    Beginning With the Body
    Teaching Methods
    Keeping Them Off the Walls
    Remember This

    Chapter 3: Elements of Movement
    Remember This

    Chapter 4: Fundamental Motor Skill Development
    Acquiring Motor Skills
    Using the Elements of Movement
    Remember This

    Chapter 5: Fitness for Young Children
    Definitions of Fitness
    Fitness in Early Childhood
    Fitness Factors
    Remember This

    Chapter 6: Manipulative Skills
    Nontraditional Manipulative Skills
    Introducing Equipment
    Traditional Manipulative Skills
    Remember This

    Chapter 7: Linking the Gym With the Classroom
    Language Arts
    Social Studies
    Making the Links Stronger
    Remember This

    Appendix A: Sample Lesson Plans
    Appendix B: Resources
    About the Author

    About the Author

    Rae Pica, BS, has been a children's physical activity specialist since 1980. A former adjunct instructor with the University of New Hampshire, she is the author of 17 books, including Experiences in Movement, the award-winning Great Games for Young Children, and A Running Start: How Play, Physical Activity, and Free Time Create a Successful Child, written for the parents of children birth to 8.

    Rae is known for her lively and informative workshop and keynote presentations and has shared her expertise with such groups as the Sesame Street research department, the Head Start Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Nickelodeon's Blue's Clues, Gymboree, and state health departments throughout the country. She is author of the blog The Pica Perspective, in which she shares her thoughts on matters related to children and physical activity, and is the host and cocreator of Body, Mind and Child, a series of podcasts that help parents prepare their children's minds and bodies for life. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, crocheting, and cheering on the New England Patriots.