Stuck Indoors? Let the Games Begin!January 18, 2015
“It’s too cold, it’s too hot, there’s not enough snow, there’s too much snow, it’s raining too hard.”
How many times have you said this to your children—or they have even said it to you—as reasons not to go outside and play. Children may even view this enforced idleness as a treat; more time to relax, watch TV or play video games.
Well, on these long days that you feel stuck in the house with your children, why not turn this forced hibernation into family fun activity time. Enjoy healthy, energetic playtime with lots of laughing, smiles and giggles…and these sounds will not only be coming from your children!
(Sure, all the paperwork that needs to be done or any household chores will still be there waiting for you. But as you know, the time you spend moving and laughing together, that time is a gift.)
Here are some ideas to get you started. Your children don’t even have to know that the adventure you are about to go on with them is not only lots of fun, but it is healthy active play. So put your electronic device to sleep, clear humans off the couch, turn off the TV and here we go. Are you ready?
Clap Ball. The child tosses a beach ball up in the air and claps once before it is caught. See if they can do this as many as 20 times. Once they get really good at this and to continue to improve eye/hand coordination, try it with two or even three claps before the ball is caught.
Don’t Drop The Cabbage. This is an eye-hand coordination game that also helps improve catching and throwing skills…and also takes playing catch to a new fun level. You and your child start very close, facing each other. Toss the ball back and forth, while saying “don’t” then “drop” then “the” and finally “cabbage.” After completing the sentence both of you move one giant step back. Whoever drops the “cabbage” (the ball) must then do some fun exercise or movement. For example, hop, gallop in a circle, jump and lift the ball overhead or simply do a push-up or sit-up. Use your imagination based on your child’s age and physical condition.
Time-Out. At the appropriate time, based on your own observations, try this “time-out” variation: Tell your child, “on your mark, get set…sit down.” Relax together for a few moments, take some deep breaths, discuss the games you have been enjoying and drink some water (always have it available for all of you).
Stay tuned for more to come.
by Bonita Porte and Energetic Juniors certified trainers