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2. Toddlers should engage in at least 60 minutes—and up to several
hours—per day of unstructured physical activity and should not be
sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time, except when sleeping.
3. Toddlers should be given ample opportunities to develop move-
ment skills that will serve as the building blocks for future motor
skillfulness and physical activity.
4. Toddlers should have access to indoor and outdoor areas that
meet or exceed recommended safety standards for performing
5. Those in charge of toddlers’ well-being are responsible for under-
standing the importance of physical activity and promoting
movement skills by providing opportunities for structured and
unstructured physical activity and movement experiences.
(AAHPERD 2009, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11)
NAEYC offers Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation Pro-
grams. Among those standards addressed by Toddlers are the following:
• Standard 1a: Knowing and understanding young children’s charac-
teristics and needs.
• Standard 1b: Knowing and understanding the multiple influences
on development and learning.
• Standard 1c: Using developmental knowledge to create healthy,
respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments.
• Standard 3b: Knowing about and using observation, documenta-
tion, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches.
• Standard 4a: Understanding positive relationships and supportive
interactions as the foundation of their work with children.
• Standard 4b: Knowing and understanding effective strategies and
tools for early education.
• Standard 4c: Using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropri-
ate teaching/learning approaches.
• Standard 5a: Understanding content knowledge and resources in
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• Standard 5b: Knowing and using the central concepts, inquiry tools,
and structures of content areas or academic disciplines.
• Standard 5c: Using their own knowledge, appropriate early learning
standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate
meaningful, challenging curricula for each child.
(2009b, 11, 13, 14, and 16)
NAEYC’s position statement Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early
Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8 specifies that “all
the domains of development and learning—physical, social and emotional, and
cognitive—are important, and they are closely interrelated. Children’s develop-
ment and learning in one domain influence and are influenced by what takes
place in other domains” (2009a, 11). The position statement instructs teachers
to “plan curriculum experiences that integrate children’s learning within and
across the domains (physical, social, emotional, cognitive) and the disciplines
(including language, literacy, mathematics, social studies, science, art, music,
physical education, and health)” (2009a, 21).
Implementing the Program
In truth, the term lesson plan, as it is used in this program, is not technically
correct, but I have used it because a suitable substitute does not seem to exist.
Typically, a lesson plan specifies details for teaching one class period of a learn-
ing unit. But it was my intention that teachers using this book would be able
to create as many lessons as they wanted—or deemed necessary—from each
of my plans. Because I purposely built a great deal of flexibility into the book,
there are probably as many ways to use these lesson plans as there are teachers!
In other words, the fact that there are four activities per plan does not mean
that you must complete all four every time you schedule a movement session.
Similarly, you should not feel as though you have to use the lesson plans exactly
as they are laid out. Although I certainly hope you will keep the developmental
progression of the activities and their extensions in mind as you go through
them, I realize that nobody knows your toddlers better than you do. So you
should not hesitate to adapt the lesson plans, perhaps abbreviating activities or