Whereas toddlers and pre-schoolers still tend to be self-focused during play and gymnastics, and play more alongside than with each other, we see this changing in toddler age. Working together is increasingly common.
From about the age of four, children increasingly gravitate towards each other to play together. At this age, toddlers also develop more and more games in which they actually need someone else. Climbing on that cupboard on your own is a lot less fun than together. Even with introductory games such as tag, it is of course much more fun and easier to play and work together.
Working together makes them realise that the child they are playing with also has wishes and feelings. In this blog we will give you an idea of how to set up a fun gymnastics lesson that puts cooperation first!
Working together as an introduction or ending your lessons.
Working together in leadership and closing happens naturally in many gymnastics lessons. Often we start and/or end with a game of tag, which requires quite some teamwork. Tips for a nice introduction or ending with a lot of interaction:
- Twin tag: when the ticker tags someone, they continue tagging hand in hand. When there are 4 children next to each other, they split into pairs again. Continue until everyone is tagged.
- Chain tag: the same as twin tag, only the pendulum stays together. Continue until everyone has been tagged and a long chain of all the children has been formed.
- Gate Tag: If you get tagged, you stand with your legs wide open. You can be freed by someone else crawling through your legs.
- Relay races: often a fun way to end a lesson, where you work together as a group by encouraging and cheering each other on during the race.
It is also possible to create cooperation between the children in your core lesson. Here are a few examples:
- Work in pairs. Prepare a lesson in which they work in flow form. Make pairs beforehand and have them work through the course together. Depending on the equipment, you could have the pairs hold on to a ribbon, which they must not drop during the round.
- Create groups during a game lesson, and let the children work together by giving points for certain tasks. The points are added up within the team. In this way the children will motivate and stimulate each other to do the assignment as well as possible.
- Let children teach each other! Set up stations and let the children use their own creativity. At each station, each child in a group can think of a task to do on that station. The other children all do their own thing, before the next child comes up with something.
Tumbling together in the ropes
Throw over a ball in the toddler gym class
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