January 2009


Building Better Bodies and Brains!
April, 2010

This is an organic website!
It’s free, fun, doesn’t harm the environment,
and the activities are good for children’s bodies and brains!

There is a crisis in our country called childhood obesity. It’s alarming how many children are overweight and the long term damaging effects that obesity can cause. There are many social and cultural factors that have contributed to this crisis: diet and fast foods, safety issues, modern conveniences that make our lives “easier,” and television and technology. Further, the academic push in education has eliminated recess in many schools and limited time for physical education. The answer to this problem is simple, but it isn’t easy. Somehow the number of calories that children intake has got to be reduced while the number of calories they use exercising has got to increase.

This month is dedicated to getting children to MOVE! And the secret is to make it so much FUN they won’t realize it’s exercise. As early childhood educators, we have ALWAYS been committed to the whole child! We need to be as concerned about the child’s physical, social, and emotional well being as we are about their intellectual skills.

Come on! Let’s get moving!!!


Start each day with 10 minutes of rigorous exercise and then use energizers throughout the day to improve health, reduce wiggles, and help children focus. This can be a win/win situation because you can reinforce academic skills as you exercise. Nothing can take the place of running, jumping, swinging, and climbing outside, but if you have limited time, space, and equipment, you’ll find the activities this month are just what you need. All of these exercises can be done in regular clothing as children stand in a small space or by their desks. They are non-competitive and everyone can experience success.


You learn on your feet, not on your seat! When children move, dance, and wiggle, more senses are activated and the message is more likely to get to the brain. Music and movement also emit endorphins which make you happy. These activities are great for cardio, eye-hand coordination, flexibility, strength, and children’s BRAINS! Children will also develop body spatial awareness, cooperation, self-control, social skills, and they will learn to listen and follow directions. It feels good to feel good, and when children feel good their behavior improves!


You don’t have to be an aerobics instructor or Olympic champion to have fun doing these activities WITH your students. Children learn through modeling, and what better way to give your students lifelong attitudes about healthy living than exercising with them. These songs and activities can also reduce your stress level and give you more energy.


My new CD has the music for all of these activities, but you can easily take the ideas and use them with music you already have. I have always been resistant to make a video because I wanted adults and children to interact together. However, I felt it might be helpful to see some of these activities demonstrated so there is also a DVD if you’d prefer that.

There are songs to start your day and wake up the brain, as well as songs for stretching, breathing, and relaxing. There are movement ideas to reinforce math and reading skills, as well as lots of songs that will make you want to stand up, move, and smile!

Note! I always encourage teachers to adapt ideas to the particular age, ability, and interests of their students. Just remember to keep it playful and FUN!

Downloads for April - You will find a new booklet to download plus all the lyrics and activities for Better Bodies and Brains. Just use the Downloads button in the menu to the left.

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