acmovement.jpg **Stacie Zacks
Brett Bickel
Nikki Boyce
Zach Vena
Movement in Early Childhood






Movement is a particular manner or style of moving. Physical activity is necessary for a healthy lifestyle. At a young age children should develop healthy habits. In order for this to occur teachers should incorporate more movement activities in the classroom. Research proves that movement is not only beneficial for young children’s health it also helps them engage in social interaction, which helps them with their language development. Sometimes students find school to be very boring. This can change with more interesting and fun movement activities. Starting our children’s lives out with more movement can help decrease the number of obesity and diabetes. Lately it has been discussed that physical education is probably going to be eliminated from the elementary setting.
One very important problem in school’s today is the lack of physical activity children receive. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes a day of physical activity and yet we still have schools who allow no activity to happen. Most third graders get less than 25 minutes a week in school programs, a new study shows. On average, children had two PE classes a week, totaling 69 minutes. In their classes, they spent 10 minutes playing games, five minutes in "fitness exercises" like calisthenics, five minutes hearing teacher's explanations, and seven minutes forming lines and waiting. Students engaged in only about five minutes of vigorous physical activity and 12 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity. With the increasing emphasis on raising test scores, physical education classes are disappearing from the nation's middle and high schools and many elementary schools have done away with recess. The panel presented evidence that physical activity actually helps children perform better academically. Strong acknowledges that the data are not conclusive, but he says it is clear that regular physical activity doesn't hurt school performance. The CDC recommends daily physical education from kindergarten through 12th grade. But few schools comply, citing budget restrictions and increasing academic demands which eat up the school day. Seeing how problems such as childhood obesity causes later health problems with our students, schools shouldn’t have to choose between test scores or healthy exercise for our children.

Many schools are beginning to cut back on the amount of recess given to students. Young students need recess to further their health, social interaction, and behavioral problems in the classroom. The Washington Post found that children who receive 20 minutes or more of recess a day behave better in school. The amount of recess given to young children is very beneficial for future teachers. They need to understand that children need to socially interact and move around. It is very difficult for them to stay seated in a seat all day and continue learning. Physical activity helps the brain working as well, which helps their learning in the classroom. It is not always apparent; however, when young children socially interact with their peers through play, they are having fun and learning at the same time. They are working on their communication skills, their math skills by keeping count in a game, and learning to work with one another. Surprisingly, when children go outside for recess the sun light stimulates the pineal glands which help increase academic learning. When running around outside, this helps get rid of stress and helps young students focus more attention when they are back in the classroom. They become less fidgety in their seats and more involved and now interested to learn. It may not be noticeable to teachers, but some students go home from school and snack on food in front of the television. They need recess for exercise as well as motivation in the classroom. All of these reasons help support why the amount of recess should not be cut back in schools.
There are many reasons to incorporate movement into any classroom. The first reason is that many students are kinesthetic learners which means they learn best with hands on activities. Many schools are cutting back on their physical education programs and requiring students to take fewer and fewer credits of physical education each year. With the decline in physical education we have seen an increase in childhood obesity and diabetes. With more movement in the classroom teachers will be able to reach more of their children with the content they are teaching. They will also discover that students are much more focused when they are in a lecture format because when students sit for long periods of time without movement they become lethargic and therefore tune out what the teacher is saying. Students will most of all enjoy the class much more and will possibly even look forward to coming to that class everyday. Exercise helps to feed the brain and helps it process information faster and with better accuracy.
There are many important aspects of movement in early childhood years. We now know how our children are being exposed to bad habits such as video games, television, eating poorly, etc. Unfortunately, we still see problems such as lack of physical education, decrease in recess time, and lack of movement in the classroom using games and other fun activities. Our students are being introduced to these poor habits and we are seeing increases in childhood obesity every year. We need to do something about the lack of movement children receive in school because if their not getting any exercise at home or school, they’re not getting any at all. This leads to health problems and laziness. Movement is extremely important at young ages and school’s should step up and make a difference.

Editted by: jsbender0, rjlichty0, rslider0

Sources :
Boyles, Salynn. (2005, June 13). Kids need an hour of exercise a day. Retrieved from
Davis, Jeanie. (2003, February 11). School PE programs are in sorry shape. Retrieved from
Pica Rae (2006). Take It Outside. Moving and Learning. Retrieved 9/20/09 from http://www.
Gardner, Amanda (Jan. 26, 2009). Recess Makes For Better Students. The Washington Post, Retrieved 9/17/09 From AR2009012600948.html
Jarrett, Olga S. (2003-2004). Recess in Elementary School: What Does the Research Say? ERIC Digest, Retrieved 9/17/09 From
Pica, Rae (2006). 7 Reasons Why Kids Need Recess (Even the Kids Who Misbehave). Moving and Learning. Retrieved 9/20/09 from Articles30.htm