Embracing March Madness: A Child Care Provider's Guide to Sports Engagement - post

Embracing March Madness: A Child Care Provider's Guide to Sports Engagement

image in article Embracing March Madness: A Child Care Provider's Guide to Sports EngagementMarch Madness, the annual college basketball tournament, may not seem like an event of interest to child care providers who aren't sports enthusiasts. However, it presents a fantastic opportunity to engage children and families in the excitement of sports and friendly competition. By embracing the spirit of March Madness, child care providers can foster teamwork, sportsmanship, and a love for physical activity among children. Here are some strategies for incorporating March Madness into your child care program, even if you're not a sports aficionado.

Create a Tournament Bracket:

Instead of focusing solely on basketball teams, create a tournament bracket featuring various activities that children can participate in. For example, you can include relay races, obstacle courses, beanbag toss, or even simple games like Simon Says. Allow children to vote on their favorite activities to determine the matchups, and track the progress of each activity in a visible bracket display.

Organize Team Challenges:

Divide children into teams and assign each team a country or fictional theme. Encourage them to come up with a team name and create banners or flags to represent their group. Then, organize friendly challenges such as building the tallest tower using blocks, completing a scavenger hunt, or solving #puzzles. Emphasize teamwork and cooperation as essential elements of success.

Host a Sports Day:

Dedicate a day during March Madness to celebrate sports and physical activity. Set up different stations around your child care facility, each offering a different sport or activity. Include classics like soccer, basketball, and relay races, as well as less traditional options like yoga, dance, or martial arts. Invite parents to join in the fun and participate alongside their children.

Incorporate Learning Opportunities:

Use March Madness as a springboard for learning about sports, teamwork, and #healthy competition. Introduce children to the rules and fundamentals of basketball through age-appropriate #books, videos, or interactive activities. Discuss concepts like fairness, respect for opponents, and the importance of practice and perseverance. Encourage children to reflect on their experiences and what they've learned from participating in sports-themed activities.

Host a Family Tournament:

Invite families to participate in a friendly March Madness-inspired tournament. Encourage parents, siblings, and caregivers to form teams and compete in various activities or games. Provide snacks, refreshments, and prizes to create a festive atmosphere. This event not only promotes family bonding but also reinforces the importance of staying active together as a family unit.


Providers can add to their repertoire of activities by incorporating healthy learning practices. Some ChildCareEd trainings to support your work with young children include:

  • Health and Nutrition
    • Children’s #development depends on a well-balanced and -maintained #health-and diet. You are responsible to ensure children’s #health-and- #safety so that they are ready to learn. We developed this course for #teachers and providers to understand the influence of chronic illness on and disease prevention for children, as well the nutritional needs of children and support those who have food allergies.
  • On My Plate: Children's Nutrition
    • In the beginning years of every child’s life, food does more than nourish the body: it also fuels the mind. A nutritionally balanced diet aids in the optimal #growth-and development in young children. Child care professionals must be cognizant of what children should eat and intentionally meal plan to address children’s nutritional needs.

March Madness may be synonymous with basketball, but it offers child care providers a valuable opportunity to promote sportsmanship, teamwork, and physical activity among children and families. By embracing the spirit of friendly competition and incorporating sports-themed activities into your program, you can create memorable experiences that encourage children to #lead active and healthy lives. So, don't sit on the sidelines—join in the March Madness fun and watch as your child care community thrives!


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