Creating a gymnastics lesson plan for preschoolers can seem challenging. I find the easiest way to tackle it is to come up with a general overview of what I want to teach my students for the season/session/program, find a simple repeatable layout, and then just plug the right drills into each lesson.
For instance, the way I run my preschool class is that we start with a short warm-up song and stretch, then we do one obstacle course in the front of the room and one obstacle course in the back of the room and we finish with either breaking down a harder skill or a gymnastics game. Every lesson has a theme and the lessons build on one another so each lesson gets progressively more difficult.
A great theme to start with is Straight Body. Before moving on to other movements or positions, let’s teach our students the basics. Once you decided on the lesson plan theme you can now plug in as many straight body drills as you an into the lesson. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit and put in one or two skills that are not related to the theme.
Preschool Lesson 1: Straight Body
In this lesson, after the students completed the stretch, the circuit of skills they worked on had many straight body drills. In the picture below, we see one circuit the students worked on:
- They walk across the pebbles in a nice tall straight body
- They put their hands on the stars and lift their legs (donkey kicks) – challenge them to get as close to a straight body upside down as possible.
- Placing their legs on top of the mat they stretch out into a modified “upside down” straight body”
- Crawl through the tunnel on your bellow in a straight body – just like a slithering snake.
- Climb over the bridge (e.g step over the blue octagon)
- Holding on to the bars, straight body jumps down the hopscotch mat
- Walk or jumps down the beam in a nice tall straight body!
This, in a nutshell, is how I create a preschool lesson plan. The part that can take just a little bit of extra thinking is coming up with the general overview of the curriculum and the layout of the class. In my next follow up article I will discuss how to come up with a curriculum overview, setting up short and long term goals in the classroom and creating the plug-n-chug lesson plan outline so that lesson plans can be fun and easy to create and always be inline with your class goals.
Check out this cool visual way to teach cartwheels over a gator!