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Hansen, Judy.

Ottawa, The Canadian Institute of Child Health and Fitness Canada, 1987. 68pp, paper, $3.00, ISBN 0-919747-14-0. Distributed by Canadian Institute of Child Health, 17 York Street, Suite 105, Ottawa, Ont. K1N 5S7.

Reviewed by Howard Hurt

Volume 16 Number 1
1988 January

At a time when everyone is complaining about the outrageous costs of books it is a genuine thrill to stumble across a publication with a clear purpose which sells for a reasonable, if subsidized, price. This booklet written by the Canadian Institute of Child Health with financial assistance from Fitness Canada is one such discovery. Although it could be put to good use by teachers or child-care workers, the target of this guide is obviously parents. The author assumes that they are the centre of life for most five-and six-year-olds and are the primary source of security, warmth, knowledge and strength.

The text begins with an inspirational introduction and a chart indicating the characteristics and needs of kindergarten children. This is followed by exercises compiled in three broad sections. The first offers a dozen warm-up or "you and me" activities. These are followed by thirteen types of movements to improve motor development and body awareness. Finally, thirty categories of simple games provide ways to put all this together in an enjoyable and non-threatening way.

Instructions are clearly described and organized into brief paragraphs under such major headings as "balance and agility" or specific exercises like "ladder activities." Most pages include one or two monochrome line drawings that are both pleasing and instructive. A bibliography, list of recordings and suggestions for constructing or purchasing equipment are found in an appendix. At $3.00 ($2.50 for bulk orders), this must be one of the best investments any parent or teacher of young children could make. Fitness can become a "family affair," but only if participation in an exercise program becomes an established routine strong enough to replace other, less positive habits such as watching television. This booklet might just motivate some parents to work systematically to give their children a healthy start in life. It should be found in every Canadian bookstore, public library and resource centre.

Howard Hurt, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.
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