Young Athletes Curriculum


Young Athletes™ is an innovative sport's play program that includes active games, songs, and other play activities to help children aged 2-7 years develop motor, social, and cognitive skills. Children with intellectual disabilities now have the opportunity to learn, grow, and have fun because of their families, teachers, coaches, volunteers, early intervention specialists and other professionals. 

The Young Athletes™ Curriculum builds on the Young Athletes™ Activity Guide and Training video resources by providing scripted Lesson Plans for you to use over an 8 week period. For each week there are 3 days of Lesson Plans for a total of 24 days. Lessons are designed to be offered in sequence to help children become acquainted with the activities and build skills through repetition.

Lesson Plans by week (2 hours total):

  • Week 1: Foundation Skills
  • Week 2: Walking and Running
  • Week 3: Balance and Jumping
  • Week 4: Trapping and Catching
  • Week 5: Throwing
  • Week 6: Striking
  • Week 7: Kicking
  • Week 8: Review of Skills as Sports

This Curriculum was developed and evaluated by the Center for Social Development and Education at the University of Massachusetts at Boston in collaboration with the Frank Porter Graham Research Institute at the University of North Carolina. Those children whose teachers lead Young Athletes™ using the Curriculum gained significantly more motor development skills than their peers, whose teachers did not incorporate the Lessons into their preschool program. In addition, teachers and families also reported that young athletes made important gains in social skills, language development, confidence and other kindergarten readiness skills. (Favazza, Siperstein, Zeisel, Odom & Moskowitz, 2011)

This course is approved for Arkansas Department of Education professional development credit. However, the awarding of professional development credit, based on attendance to this course, is solely at the discretion of the local school district. Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing Professional Development

To check for available classes and training opportunities visit Arkansas Professional Development Registry (PDR).

For more information contact:

Jennifer Lynn Bowman
Jennifer Lynn Bowman
(RSSV)-Research & Service Units
Training Advisor
Early Care and Education Projects