HYPOTHESIS: Strength training for little kids presents a simple goal they have to try hard to accomplish.
PROCEDURE: For this month's feats of strength, I brought out an old set of variable weight dumbbells I don't use anymore. The kids were into the idea of playing with a new toy, but I supervised them carefully in lifting the weights. They definitely could get hurt if they dropped them... I recognized this, but I let them do it. At their heaviest the weights were 25 pounds each, and that was enough for Zephyr to be able to lift and press a few times, but just barely. I did get to chant "Feats of Strength! Feats of Strength!" as he lifted the dumbbell.
For Lyric (who was dressing up as a minion, by the by) I was a lot more cautious. I wanted him to get the form first, so he just lifted the 2.5 pound base unit over his head. But I did want to see how much he actually could lift, so I let him try to pick up a 7.5 lb weight.
The kids really got into it, actually. Their form was all wrong, of course, and it's gonna take a few tries to get it to a place where I feel safe having them lift the weights without me hovering over them, but I think they found something fulfilling in the activity.
And they were pretty proud when they were able to see some progress.
RESULTS: A tentative success, especially for a first effort.