The impact you have on the lives of your students reaches far and wide, and your influence can impact the health of the next generation of leaders. Think about Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign during her family’s tenure in the White House. The goal of the program was to create a task force on childhood obesity and implement creative solutions to combat it. The task force was focused on providing access to healthy food in schools, increased physical activity in children, and aimed to empower parents. What resulted was an entire cultural shift in the way Americans eat and live — how amazing is that?!
This small shift in a new direction started with a group of individuals who were invested in the lives of children and believed that change was necessary.
Creating a Healthy Classroom
In most cases, your students spend the majority of their day with you, so you make up a huge portion of their social world. This gives you an easy way to be a positive role model to them! Your words and the ways you integrate healthy practices into each day will have a positive impact on the big picture of your students’ eventual outcome.
So what can you do to help your students build healthy habits? Here are a few tips:
- Include health in your curriculum (this can be as easy as books and games)
- Give — and encourage — nutritious snacks
- Make time for physical activity every day
- Share how you stay healthy with them
Getting Parents Involved
One of the biggest successes you will see with incorporating fitness and health into your regular classroom plans is by getting the parents involved.
At-school activities are often a success simply because parents are excited about the activities! While this might sound like just one more thing to do, it’s really worth it because it’ll make your job much easier later.
You should be providing newsletters, daily or weekly emails, and calendars to parents outlining your plans and telling them you will be incorporating more health and fitness into the classroom on a regular basis.
Parent involvement will play a key role in implementing more physical and health-related activities in your classroom. Remember, you’re an extension of the family home and the more you work together, the better the outcomes! You’ll also get parents excited if the students are excited about the lessons.
What should you include in your communications with parents? Keep it simple! You can share:
- Activities you did at school
- Tips you’ve noticed that work for you
- Local places that are great for biking, walking, and playing
- Suggestions for what to bring when they go on those active outings
You can NEVER over communicate with parents and they will LOVE that their children are learning about health and fitness, and being active. It’s a massive selling point for parents and will reinforce their decision of sending their child to your school.
Make Health a Priority at Your Preschool!
We all know how important nutrition and exercise are, especially for growing children. But when you’re overwhelmed with your day-to-day duties, it can be hard to make them a priority or adjust your curriculum to include them. However, when you make health a priority at your preschool, you’re going above and beyond for your students and their families, and you can make an incredible difference in their lives, both present and future.
At Impact Early Education, we know your work is never done. That’s why we provide valuable professional development courses for preschool teachers, directors, and owners in a way that works for you. To learn more, explore our courses or contact us today!