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Name of Activity:

Rolling Forward

Purpose of Activity:

To introduce young children to the forward roll.

Suggested Grade Level:

PreK - 2

Materials Needed:

Foam Incline Wedge Mat (The best foam wedge for young children is one that is 10 inches at the top to 2 inches at the bottom along a 30-inch length. The wedge should be 18" wide.) Also needed is a box/platform that is 10 inches high and 18 by 18 inches square for the child to kneel/stand on.

Description of Idea

It is much easier for young children to learn to do a forward roll down an incline than it is on a flat surface. Place the wedge up to the edge of the box. Ask the child to stand on the box and face the incline. The child's hands should be placed on the wedge a few inches from the child's feet. Point the fingers forward and slightly bend the knees. Ask the child to put their chin on their chest, raise their bottom in the air and push off with the feet.

Teacher Role: The teacher should make sure the child's head is tucked by having them put chin to chest. To assist the child, you can gently put both hands on the hips to lift kids over their head and onto their back in order to protect the neck. The teacher should make sure the child rolls onto the back and shoulders as opposed to rolling onto the head.

Lack of Equipment: Some preschools may lack enough equipment to allow all children to practice forward rolls at the same time. If this is the case, rolling might best be taught as a station activity. One child works with the teacher at the rolling station while the other children practice jumping, balancing, and or other appropriate station activities.

Submitted by Steve Sanders Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 10/12/2017.
Viewed 125986 times since 8/24/2001.

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Rolling Forward

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Previous Comments:


I am a gymnastics instructor and an Instructor Member of USA Gymnastics. You should never use a home-made mat because if a child gets injured on one, the parents have ground to sue. The spotting technique laid out in this lesson is incorrect. Children new to this skill are likely to land flat on their face from this spotting technique. You should have both hands on the hips to lift kids over their head and onto their back in order to protect the neck. If you are working in a public school setting it is well-known that you should never put your hands on the kids.


Thanks for the lesson plan idea. If you post a picture of the child in this situation ( or any kind of physical education),it would be better for me to understand)

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