Non-locomotor activities are movements during which one stays in place, such as stretching, bending, spinning, twisting, swaying, pulling and pushing. When teaching preschoolers about balance and coordination, you can create a few non-locomotor activities to help them practice these skills.
Have your preschoolers stand about two feet apart so they have plenty of room to move and stretch. Ask the children to stretch their arms up to the ceiling as far as they can. Other stretch movements include stretching forwards, backwards and side to side. Tell your preschoolers to reach down and try to touch their toes. Stretching activities will also help build flexibility in young children.
Hand and Arm Activities
Tell the children to stand up and cover their eyes with their hands in a standing position. Next, ask them to touch the tips of their fingers to the end of their noses. Other standing activities include folding arms across the chest, snapping fingers, swinging arms forward and back, making circles in the air with the arms, making circles with elbows and clapping their hands together. Preschoolers can do hand gestures to indicate “come on,” “stay here” and “go away” in a standing position.
Show the children how to balance on one foot and see which preschooler can do this for the longest amount of time without his other foot touching the ground. For another balancing activity, tell the children to get on all fours. Ask them to choose one hand and one foot and have them practice balancing on only that hand and foot. The children can also sit on the floor with their feet in the air and their arms supporting them from behind. See who can balance the longest in this position.
Head and Mouth Activities
Ask all the preschoolers to sit in a circle and call out non-locomotor activities for them to perform. Tell the preschoolers to blink their eyes together and then alternately. Other movements include wrinkling the nose, thrusting the tongue in and out of the mouth, smiling and frowning, turning the head left and right and then up and down, opening and closing the mouth, make clicking noises with the tongue and making hissing noises. For some other mouth actions, have them smack their lips, pucker them and make kissing motions. Have the preschoolers make several facial expressions, such as mad, sad, worried, scared, surprised, happy and excited.