Integrating Academics and Physical Activities

November 28, 2018

How do you increase academic concepts through physical activity? How do you increase physical activity during the school day?

It’s important for children to have plentiful kinesthetic learning opportunities. Schools are increasingly being called upon to provide increased times for movement and activity throughout the day. At Crossroads, in addition to a structured Physical Education activity each day, students have time for self-choice in physical play. Teachers incorporate movement into classroom activities, as well, both in one-to-one sessions and in groups. Children build understanding of concepts through movement, and enjoy learning experiences in which they are able to move their bodies.

Recently Room 6 and 8 joined forces in their gym time for a pre-Thanksgiving obstacle course, involving “turkey” feathers.

The activity began with sitting and listening to directions, as is routine in the P.E. classes at Crossroads.

Mrs. Meghan showed the children the feathers, and let them feel them as she went down the line of listeners. Several giggles were heard as she gave tickles with the feathers!

Children were asked to name the colors as feathers were laid out, and as spots were laid out. They were given a model of what they should do when their turn came.

Then, in pairs of two, all had turns to follow the course and match their feather to the correct color spot.


This activity brought in such a quantity and variety of fun and interest! There were social skills, such as turn-taking, modeling, “show your friends,” turn-taking with a friend, sitting and attending. Also introduced were sensory concepts, like soft and ticklish, and academic concepts such as colors and shapes. Children working on these skills had opportunities to incorporate new ways of understanding into their skill-sets, and do so using physical modalities.

It’s just one example of addressing physical and academic skills together. What are some activities you’ve tried, as a teacher or parent, to do something similar? We’d love your comments!


Crossroads Center for Children provides education to approximately 120 students each year, including seven preschool classrooms, four school-age classrooms, and an ABA (applied behavior analysis) clinic, which works with children in a variety of settings. Our school is located in Rotterdam, NY, and serves children from all over the Capital Region.

For more information, please give us a call. 518-280-0083

Super Hoopers in Room 5!CDPHP grant will support our curricular program this year!