changing their order, if you feel it is better for your children. If certain activities
are too advanced for your toddlers, feel free to pass them by and return to them
later; they are offered here simply as possibilities.
You may decide, for instance, that you wish to explore one activity and all
of its extensions in a series of movement sessions before moving on to the next
activity on the page. Or you might choose to ignore the extensions until you
have run through all fourteen lesson plans, at which time you return to Lesson
1 and begin again with the first suggested extension under each activity.
Another option is to add a specific warm-up exercise (a favorite finger-
play or song, perhaps) to the beginning of each lesson. Performing the same
warm-up all the time can serve to alert your children to the fact that it is move-
ment time. You can finish with a cooldown of your choice too. For instance,
pretending to melt puts closure on the day’s lesson by offering children a
chance to relax and to lower themselves to the floor, where they can await infor-
mation about what comes next.
The one suggestion I would strongly recommend is that you implement lots
of repetition. As an early childhood professional, you recognize how important
repetition is to young children—especially toddlers. Just because a movement
activity appears only once in these lesson plans doesn’t mean it is intended to
be experienced only once! You should repeat activities and even whole lessons
as often as necessary to ensure success.
Will you do movement only as part of circle time, or will you schedule
longer movement sessions? Will you schedule sessions weekly, daily, or some-
thing in between? The following section of the introduction attempts to help
you answer some of those questions and provides information you will need to
make the best possible use of this book.
Scheduling Movement Experiences
As mentioned earlier, each of the lesson plans in this program consists of four
activities and is intended to take approximately thirty minutes to complete.
Whether that holds true for you depends largely upon your particular situation.
Some groups of toddlers are not ready to sustain interest in anything for thirty
minutes, while others are delighted to “play” with you for half an hour. If you