Physical fitness is vital at any age, even for kindergartners. At this age, they're fine-tuning their motor, cognitive and movement skills. Physical fitness can lay the groundwork for healthful habits as they grow older. Playing games will exert some of your kindergartner's boundless energy and make exercising fun.
There are many games, such as Simon Says, that get children moving and include jumping, running in place and other challenging movements. Tag is another game that has several varieties, such as freeze tag, in which the player tagged has to freeze until another teammate unfreezes him with a tag. Capture the Flag is another game that supports physical fitness and develops social concepts and strategy skills.
Races are high-energy games that kids love. There are countless variations to racing, such as relay racing, in which kids are on teams and one child can’t go until the first child returns. Instead of just running, kids can walk or crawl backwards, skip, hop on one or both feet -- or try to balance an object such as a bean bag on their heads while walking. Bear crawls, where kids walk on hands and feet like a bear, are fun and physical too.
Kindergartners love to dance. They'll seize any chance to act goofy and jump around. Dancing is a great way to exercise and have fun. It also teaches kids that it’s OK to look silly, which builds confidence. Dancing can be turned into a variety of games such as Dance Freeze, in which they dance until the music stops, then must freeze. You also can have them interpret different types of music; for example, if the music is fast, they dance fast and vice versa.
Jump rope competition -- such as seeing who can go the longest, who can cross her arms or jump backwards -- are challenging and fun. Long ropes allow for group jumping. You also can put the rope on the floor and act as if it’s a balance beam to walk forward, backwards or hop on. You also can have them jump over the rope or do the limbo under it.
Parachutes are versatile for kindergarten fitness games. You'll need enough children to hold on to all sides of the parachute. Place balls on the top and have the kids try to balance them in the middle while they move the parachute up and down. They also can walk or run in a circle while holding the parachute. Or while everyone else raises the parachute into the air, two children from opposite ends switch places by running under the parachute before it's lowered.
Jeff Herman began his journalism career in 2000. An experienced, award-winning sportswriter, his work has appeared in "The Washington Post," "ESPN the Magazine" and the "Boston Herald," among other publications. Herman has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from West Virginia University.