Preschooler Movement and Brain Development: Promoting the Critical Connection

Upcoming sessions

  • This course will next be offered summer 2019. Check back later to register.

Explore how physical activity impacts a preschooler’s physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development. Learn what influences teachers and parents when it comes to children’s play and physical activity. With this course, you’ll be able to facilitate physical activities that are fun for preschoolers and set a tone for a healthy lifestyle.

What to expect

  • Learn about the developmental and health benefits of physical activity for preschoolers.
  • Gain the ability to distinguish between the development of physical, cognitive, social, and emotional skill within physical play.
  • Review locomotor skills, object control skills, and learning activities.
  • Learn how to identify structured and unstructured physical play, and what influences a child’s participation.
  • Acquire teaching strategies that encourage physical activity, including games.
  • Examine how federal programs like Head Start influence preschoolers’ physical activity.

Who should register

  • Professionals working with preschoolers
  • Parents of preschoolers

This online course is approved by the Minnesota Center for Professional Development to count toward career lattice steps.

Meet the instructor

Headshot of Carol LeitschuhCarol Leitschuh

Carol Leitschuh, Ph.D., is a Fulbright Scholar specializing in early childhood movement for children with atypical and typical movement patterns. Her international expertise is brought to focus in both theory and practice to readily be used across cultures and family contexts. For very young children, movement experiences are seen as critical in addressing positive developmental trajectories and avoiding cumulative risk. Dr. Leitschuh’s expertise is in assessment and evaluation. She is recognized as a special education scholar in the U.S. and abroad publishing Special Physical Education now in the 10th Edition. With a U.S. Department of Education grant, Dr. Leitschuh developed a valid and reliable monitoring tool of infant/toddler movement referred to as the Individual Growth and Development Indicator for Infant/Toddler Movement (Movement IGDI). The tool is used for two minutes in a standardized observation and is reported to be highly and significantly correlated with an overall comprehensive assessment of motor skills at these young ages.


  • Earn 42 clock hours
  • $395 registration fee

Required materials

There are no required materials for this course.

Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellation before Day 1 of the session: Full refund less $35 administrative fee
  • Cancellation Day 1 Week 1 through Day 1 Week 2: 75% refund
  • Cancellation Day 2 Week 2 forward: No refund will be provided.