How to Do Warm-up Exercises in Preschool Gymnastic Lessons

Written by ehow sports & fitness editor
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In preschool gymnastics, warm-ups focus on gentle stretches and simple exercise moves, designed to develop muscles and introduce the child to good physical conditioning habits. Striking a balance between fun and learning is easy when you use games and positive reinforcement during warm-up time.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Start off on the right foot by allowing only as many children to attend as you can successfully control at one time. For 2- and 3-year olds, a good ratio is 1 instructor for every 6 children. A class of 4-year olds may only need 1 teacher for every 10 children.

  2. 2

    Use games to teach warm-up skills. Have the children hop on one foot, then the other and jump like bunnies in a line to build ankle and leg muscles and increase coordination.

  3. 3

    Stretch little legs, arms, wrists and backs by employing animal names and movements. Walking like a crab is fun for preschool children as it teaches them to use new muscle groups. Stretching their legs in a "V" sit encourages them to increase their flexibility as they try to open their legs as wide as an alligator's jaws.

  4. 4

    Count exercise repetitions such as bunny hops or jumping jacks to reinforce their counting skills while developing rhythm and muscle tone. Alternately, have them recite the alphabet for variety.

  5. 5

    Identify the parts of the body used in gymnastics during warm-up exercises and use the gymnastic movement terms associated with them. For instance, a child should learn to "arch" her back, "extend" her arms and "balance" on one foot. Using the terms she will need to progress in gymnastics provides a good foundation at this age.

  6. 6

    Move quickly from one exercise to the next. Preschool children have short attention spans and need frequent changes to hold their interest.

  7. 7

    Praise good behavior when the children follow directions. Gymnastics is a dangerous sport and students must learn early to mind and conduct themselves in a safe manner.

Tips and warnings

  • Use your imagination and make warm-ups fun for preschool children.

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