most likely to be eaten. Be aware that some children may not want to taste or
even touch an unfamiliar food. Continue to offer nutritious foods, and consider
preparing them in various ways and involving children through classroom food
activities. Children who do not want an unfamiliar or undesirable food on their
plates may be receptive to receiving very small amounts of the food on small side
plates. Numerous exposures to a food may be necessary before children decide
whether they like or dislike the food.
In addition to having new experiences with food, young children have new
experiences as they move their bodies and engage in physical activity. Three- and
four-year-olds are developing basic gross-motor skills, like running and jumping.
Fine-motor skills are developing as children grasp large items and fat crayons
and progress to grasping smaller manipulatives and then printing. Gaining con-
trol of body movements and developing specific physical skills do not occur just
as children grow older. Physical skill requires demonstration, exploration of pos-
sibilities, and practice.
Most children enjoy active physical play, and regular physical activity is es-
sential to healthful growth and development. Both indoor and outdoor physical
activities allow children to interact with others, explore, and learn. By providing
safe environments, encouraging exploration, and challenging children to try new
movements, you can help children build a foundation for healthy, active lives.
Topics in this curriculum include motor development, fitness and physical
activity, rest and relaxation, food choices and eating habits, and avoidance
of germs when eating. The activities and resources will help children become
aware of their bodies. Children will learn about different body parts and how
they work together, differences in body shape and size, and how to take care of
their bodies. This knowledge will help children be proud of their bodies.
Each chapter covers one topic and starts with an overview that includes sug-
gested interest area materials, learning objectives, vocabulary words to intro-
duce and use (which should include vocabulary words in the languages spoken
by the families of children in the class), supports for creating the learning envi-
ronment, and suggestions for evaluating children’s understanding of the topic.
The overview is followed by activity ideas. Icons appear with each activity to
identify the areas of development and learning integrated into the activity:
t = Physical
= Social Emotional