Thursday, August 22, 2013

303 Preschooler-Approved Exercises and Active Games, by Kimberly Wechsler (illustrated by Michael Sleva; foreword by Tamilee Webb)

303 Preschooler-Approved Exercises and Active Games:
A Smart Fun Book for ages 2 through 5
Series: A Smart Fun Activity Books
Author: Kimberly Wechsler
View on Amazon

Source: NetGalley

Illustrator: Michael Sleva
Foreword by Tamilee Webb
Publisher: Hunter House
Publication Date: September 1, 2013

This book is filled with tonnes (well, 303) of great ideas for active games and exercises for kids. It really does deliver on that promise. A lot of the activities were ones that I had used as a preschool teacher or ones that I had seen my daughter do in her toddler-preschooler tumbling classes. And they are definitely age appropriate. I'd definitely recommend it as a resource for any daycare or preschool classroom, especially on those days when you feel like you've done all the gross motor activities you can think of and you need inspiration. It's also great for parents who want help thinking of active games to play with their kids.

The only thing I will caution against is the introduction. There's a foreword by Tamilee Webb (of "Buns of Steel" fame) and it, along with the author's introduction, is filled with lots of panicky fat-phobia warning parents about the devastating ills of letting your child be overweight. The problem with that is that, despite what the book says, body weight is not an accurate indication of health or fitness. Children change size and shape frequently depending on their growth spurts, plus their body types are heavily influenced by their genetics. So one child may exercise regularly and be very fit but still be stockier than another child who may or may not be fit, despite being thin. So I think it's a terrible idea to pass on this obsession with body size to children. The goal of fitness shouldn't be thinness; it should be fitness itself. Fitness is a great goal. Thinness isn't.

But if you don't read the introduction to your kids and just skip ahead to the activities, then everybody wins.

Oh and if you're interested, you can check out Tamilee Webb talking about the role of genetics in body shape on an episode of Penn and Teller's Bullsh*t! (Season 2, Episode 12: Exercise vs Genetics). Scroll ahead 5: 25 for Tamilee.


The Homegrown Preschooler
The Opposite of Worry
Beating the Lunch Box Blues
Drop Dead Healthy

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