6 resources for physical activity and learning in child care, preschool

Like adults, kids need to stay active throughout the day. Active kids feel less stressed, sleep better at night, gain more focus, are more ready to learn, and develop healthy bones, muscles, and joints. 

One way to make sure that children in your care are getting enough movement throughout the day is to incorporate movement into learning. Below is a list of suggested resources. Check them out and get moving!

Diane Craft’s Active Play Manual

Encourage children to explore and experiment with movement using this book and DVD set. The book includes 52 activities, and 30 of them are demonstrated on the DVD. Both are available in Spanish. 

Dr. Craft is a professor at SUNY Cortland, a former elementary and high school physical education teacher, and consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn more

Healthy Habits from Sesame Street

Sesame Street’s Healthy Habits for Life Resource Kit

Get activites as well as tips for modifying them for mixed age groups, ideas for small spaces and big spaces. Discover ways to make everyday activities like cleaning up even more active and fun for children. Learn more

Growing Up WILD: Exploring Nature with Young Children 

This guide is full of activities that get children moving and thinking like scientists. Also includes healthy snack ideas and art projects related to the activity themes. Learn more

Girl exploring outdoors with magnifying glass

Let’s Go! Activity Ring

Print these activity cards —organized by age group— then laminate and attach them with a loose leaf ring so they are easy to grab when needed. Includes hands-on lesson ideas to teach healthy eating. Learn more


StoryWalk® is an innovative way to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time. Laminated pages from a children’s book are attached to wooden stakes, which are installed along an outdoor path. As you stroll down the trail, you’re directed to the next page in the story. Learn more or create your own.

WinterKids: Guide to Active Learning, Preschool Edition

This Guide to Outdoor Active Learning (GOAL) makes it easy for preschool and elementary teachers to integrate fun, outdoor activity into their winter lessons. From “Moving Mathematics” to “The Science of Sledding,” the GOAL offers creative lessons that engage students and get them moving! Learn more

Adapted from Let’s Go! Where to Find Movement in Learning Resources

Why is physical activity important? Active students have better concentration and fewer behavior problems in school. They also perform better in reading, writing, and math. Learn more

Active Students Achieve More: 3 Ways to Get Kids Moving. LEARN HOW