Playfully Teaching

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I am working with kindergarteners at a big kickboxing center, and so I need a lot of stuff to  teach them in a more playful way.

We always start with a little game. We play „catch the tail“ or „seat rabbit – running rabbit“, but their favorite game is „turn into stone“ where I roll a big gym ball towards the children, and they have to dodge it.

We continue with our obstacle course with a slalom, a coordination ladder, hurdles and bicycle tires. I love it to work with old bicycle tires, because they are soft enough, and so the children cannot get hurt when they jump into or over them. Sometimes we play „car race“, and two or three children are in a tire and have to „drive“ forward or reverse.

For coordination exercises I use carpet tiles, so the children have a middle, a center, and that’s their starting point. Then they jump to the left or right and back and forth. I am always facing them and we jump together. But I am like their mirror, and so I have to call: „Left!“, but jump to the right! Or I call: „Put your right foot on the carpet!“, and I have to put my left foot down! 😀

It is very important, that we do all exercises together, because kindergarteners learn by watching and not by thinking. I always have a lot of fun with that, and I often think: Oh, what a great job! I’m getting paid to play around!

Okay, that sounds easy, but it isn’t. There are a lot of different skills that I want to teach the children, and that’s not always easy. My personal goal is to teach them team spirit, consideration, attentiveness, discipline and respect. Once in a while that’s like a Sysiphean task, especially when I have children without any guidance from their parents. So I have a little commander there in my class, a baby boss. That’s very hard for me, because I know, the child will be confused when I am the first person in his or her life, who takes on a leadership role. I don’t like to confuse these sweeties, but I want to help them to accept good guidance.

So, we learn and play – or play and learn. After the classes I drop the cover of the boxing ring, and my backyard play area disappears. 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

– Chinese –

5 thoughts on “Playfully Teaching

  1. This post made me smile imagining your students jumping around and learning at the same time. You are doing important work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Aggie! Did you ever tried to hop a perfect jumping jack? I’m not sure if it the right word for this very important martial arts exercise, we call it “Hampelmann”. Why is that important? You need to move your arms and legs diametrically opposed. This is not as easy as it looks, even for adults! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’ve tried jumping jacks. Unfortunately they have been far from perfect!

      Liked by 1 person

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