What Are the Benefits of Physical Activities for Preschoolers?

At Little Sunshine’s Playhouse & Preschool®, we believe that some of the best learning takes place when kids are active.

Regular physical activity plays an important role in early childhood development and supports everything from your child’s overall health to their success in school.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of exercise for preschoolers in particular.

Exercise and Academic Achievement

A review of over 60 years of research shows that physical activity has a decidedly positive impact on children’s cognitive development. On top of that, schools that allocate more time to physical activity, including P.E. and recess, actually see better academic results than schools that don’t.

Other research reveals academic benefits for children at the individual level:

  • Physically fit kids have greater volume in the hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with memory.
  • One study showed that kids who exercise regularly performed better on a test of information learned the previous day.
  • Other researchers found that walking for just 20 minutes before taking a test boosted scores on reading, spelling and math.

Exercise and Physical Development

Most people already know exercise is good for people of all ages, and this includes young children.

  • Physical activity, such as walking, running, jumping or dancing, promotes the development of gross motor skills including strength, endurance, control, balance and body awareness.
  • Regular exercise helps kids develop healthy habits early, which makes it easier to maintain an appropriate weight and reduces the risk of chronic diseases well into adulthood.
  • Children who get regular exercise also sleep better and lower their risk of mental health issues such as depression.

Exercise and Social-Emotional Development

Along with academic achievement and physical milestones, exercise in early childhood plays a crucial role in the development of social and emotional skills.

  • Children who exercise tend to have longer attention spans in class, greater confidence, better social skills and fewer behavioral problems.
  • Physical activity promotes creativity and positive self-esteem.
  • Both unstructured free play and organized physical activities such as team sports help kids learn important social skills like cooperation and good sportsmanship.

These are just a few of the many reasons why exercise plays such an important part in your child’s growth and development.

It’s also why our proprietary curriculum, Creatively Shine™, is designed to get preschoolers out of their seats, both indoors and out, for hands-on lessons that encourage fun, play, cooperation and learning by doing.

Get in touch with a Little Sunshine’s Playhouse® location near you to learn more!


Check out our prior blog posts on healthy academic, social and physical development:

Little Sunshine’s Playhouse & Preschool® Weekly Menu Example

Benefits of Outdoor Activities for Preschoolers

What Is the Importance of Play in Preschool?