Monday, December 12, 2011
This handmade piece of simple equipment costs pennies to make, is fun to play with and the benefits are priceless...promoting eye hand coordination, striking skills, crossing the midline, vestibular stimulation, spatial awareness, cooperation and creativity. This is the perfect gift to “give” to your child or the children in your care. More importantly, you can play with them...giving them the best gift of all...your time and participation!
A paint stick and packaging tape can be found at the local hardware store. Add a balloon or a small beach ball and let the games begin!
Materials Needed:2 White Paper Plates (thin and uncoated) per Floppy Flipper (DIXIE)
Paint Sticks (1 per Floppy Flipper)
Clear Packaging Tape
Colorations® Washable Chubbie Markers (CHUBBERS)
Colorations Washable Stamp Pads (STAMPADS)
Stapler (BVST) and Staples (5000)
Balloon or Beach Ball (DYOBALL)
Colorations® Permanent Markers (PERMBLK)
Let’s Get Started:1. Using a couple of pieces of clear packaging tape, tape the paint stick to the middle of one paper plate.
2. Give each child another paper plate and ask him or her to decorate it with the available art materials.
3. When the child is finished, staple the plate to the plate which you’ve taped to a paint stick.
4. Have the child write or stamp their name on the paint stick handle.
5. The Floppy Flipper is now ready to be played with!
Floppy Flipper Wimbledon:Have each child pick a balloon, blow it up (or have it blown up) and tie it. Suggest they write their name on the balloon with a permanent marker. Instead of a balloon have the child decorate their own small beach ball (available at Discount School Supply®).
Let the children explore and play with their Floppy Flippers and balloons. Ask them to find out...
• How high can they hit their balloon?
• How far can they hit the balloon?
• How many times in a row can they hit the balloon (How about five?!!)
• How long can they keep their balloon in the air?
• Can they hit their balloon, spin around, then hit it again?
As the children become more proficient, ask them to try to keep a balloon in the air by hitting it back and forth with a partner. Now they’re playing Floppy Flipper Wimbledon!
Suggest they change partners once or twice.
As a further challenge for older kids, have them attempt to keep two balloons in the air by themselves or with partners!
REMEMBER: Balloons ALWAYS require adult supervision. Always use helium quality balloons or sturdy punch ball balloons. Do not use fragile party balloons. You can cover balloons using knee hi stockings, pantyhose or any fruit mesh sacks (citrus, watermelon, cantaloupe). Should the balloon pop, the covering prevents burst balloon shards from being inhaled by children.
Discount School Supply® Product Recommendations:9” White Paper Plates (DIXIE)
Decorate Your Own Beach Ball (DYOBALL)
Colorations® Regular Crayons (CRS16)
Colorations® Washable Scented Markers (SNIFFY)
Colorations® Mini Dabber Dot Markers (DABDOT)
Colorations® Jumbo Washable Stamp Pad (BIGSTAMP)
Colorations® Uppercase Stamping Sticks (ABCSTK)
Colorations® Lowercase Stamping Sticks (LOWER)
Animal Stamping Sticks (ANISTIX)
Super Stamping Sticks (STICKS)
Assorted Stickers ((2088)
Stapler and Staples (BVST and 5000)
Colorations® Color Permanent Markers (PERMCLR)
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Tummy Twists -- hands on waist as children twist from side to side 5 times
Arm Circles -- arms out to sides and make big circles while counting to 5
Jog in Place 5 Miles -- children count a slow but steady and loud 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Jumping Jacks -- arms at sides, feet together. Jump up while spreading arms and legs apart at the same time. Lift arms to ears and open feet a little wider than shoulder width. Clap or touch hands above head. Return from jumping up by bringing arms back down to side and feet back together. Continue with 4 more jumping jack repetitions.
Remember, after each exercise, to ask the children to show you and tell you how many exercises they did. It reinforces learning and perhaps will encourage you and the children to include some physical activity when waiting for the next activity or including throughout your day a much needed “brain break!”
Thursday, October 13, 2011
• Roll down a grassy hill. No hill? Pull out a tumbling mat and have children roll like a log from one end to the other.
• Pull out the parachute and move it like the wind, gently blowing (slow and soft movements up and down) or create strong gusty gales (fast and quick shaking movements). When the wind blows in the autumn, leaves fall from the trees, twirling and dancing in the wind. Place some real leaves on the parachute and have the children shake the parachute accordingly as you describe how the wind is blowing, either gently or more briskly. After a big, stormy strong wind the leaves have all scattered. Children will have fun as they “rake” up the leaves that have blown (shaken) off of the parachute.
• Pick up a stick, find a rock, climb a tree, look for bugs, smell the flowers, collect leaves, go on a nature hike, dig in the dirt, jump in a puddle, have fun in the mud.
• Play “I Spy Outside.” Take turns saying, “I spy something _____” and then together run to that object.
• “Wanna Play Chase?” Children just want to run and it’s always fun to run with or after someone. Tell the children to always ask the person they want to chase, “Wanna play chase? I’ll chase you first and then you can chase me. On your mark, get set, go!”
• Move like the animals -- fly like a bird, slither like a snake, scamper like a squirrel, walk like a bear, jump like a frog or a rabbit.
• Set up a Nature Scavenger Hunt. After assessing your playground or yard, make a list of things that the children have to find. The list might include an acorn, a Y-shaped twig, a pinecone, a clover, a pillbug, a gray rock, or whatever else might be in the immediate environment. Naturally, the list will depend on the season and the age of the hunters.
• Make a Sidewalk Chalk Obstacle Course. Using sidewalk chalk create a maze for children to follow using different movement skills. Draw -- straight lines, curvy roads, zig-zag paths for children to walk on; lily pads to frog jump onto; shapes to hop into; rivers to cross; and rainbows to jump over.
Make nature and the outdoors a part of your teaching. Lead the way and be the first to say, “Let’s Go Outside & Play!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
1. Low Balance Beam (248) - a bridge over a swamp (floor) where a hungry alligator lives.
2. Variety of safe objects to carry—soft babies, plastic animals, beanbags, blocks, etc.
3. Basket or bucket placed at far end of balance beam.
4. Adult to role play alligator moving around in open space (swamp).
Lets Get Started:
1. Give child one object.
2. Ask child to walk (heel-toe) across the balance beam slowly carrying the soft object, chanting, "I'm walking, I'm walking, I'm walking across the swamp. I hope that alligator doesn't go chomp."
3. When child reaches end of the beam they are to toss or drop the object into the basket.
4. Explain to children that they should not step off the beam or drop anything into the swamp (floor) because the hungry alligator (adult with extended arms moving up and down like alligator’s jaws) will chase them until they put what they are carrying into the basket.
1. Give children more things to carry each time they attempt to walk across the alligator swamp.
2. Ask children to carry beanbags balanced on their heads and shoulders.
3. Have children move across the balance beam using other modes of travel. Continue by interjecting other movements such as: “I'm swimming, I'm swimming, I'm swimming across the swamp. I hope that alligator doesn't go chomp.” Can also do tip toeing, jumping etc.
1. Gross motor coordination—using the trunk and large muscles and limbs of the body—to walk with legs and hold and toss items with arms and hands. Gross motor movement is the predecessor to fine motor skills that are required for formal school work.
2. Dynamic Balance—being able to hold the position of the body when the body is moving—walking across the balance beam. Self-control is important for learning.
3. Eye hand coordination—eyes and hands working together to toss the beanbag into the basket. Eyes and hands need to work together in order to write.
4. Imagery—formation of mental images by memory, imagination or fancy—pretending to cross a bridge over a swamp inhabited by an alligator. Imagination is the precursor to intellectual development.
5. Self-confidence—faith in oneself and one’s own abilities---children can cross balance beam and deliver the object without dropping it.
Balance Beam (248)
Beanbags (MEGABEAN and CBB)
Plastic Animals (BABYFARM and BABYZOO)
Multicultural Velour Soft Babies (ALL4BY)
Soft Velour Blocks (VLRBLK)
Willow Baskets (WILLOW)
Thursday, June 30, 2011
1. Splash and jump in puddles. Ask the children, “How many puddles did you find to jump in?
2. Blow bubbles in the rain. Challenge the children to pop them using sand blocks or to catch them with a chopstick.
3. Run and find a rainbow. If it’s a sunny rainy day, chances are that you just might spot a rainbow or two. Encourage the children to run to it and try to find the legendary “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow. If no rainbow in sight, let children run with their own Rainbow Dancing Wrist Band in hand.
Colorations® Simply Washable Tempera paint or even draw a silly face on their stomach. Now it’s time to get out in the rain and “dance, dance, dance” until the color washes away.
5. Nature walk and insect and crawly critter hunt. Some bugs become active when it rains. Bring along a magnifying glass to look along sidewalks, in the grasses, or under rocks and pieces of wood to find worms, beetles, slugs, snails, roly-polies, ants.
6. Wet and Wild Obstacle Course. Kick a ball around cones, walk the river logs (Step-A-Logs Balance Beam), jump the river (two jump ropes laid on the ground in a V-shape), toss soggy foam balls into a bucket, and go mountain climbing in the rain (Cones and Poles -- thread a pole horizontally through medium or high level holes in two cones to make a crossbar (mountain) for climbing (stepping over).
Jump, run, walk, kick, dance, toss, throw are all active verbs that encourage active play.
Head outside and have some rainy day fun!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Rubber playground ball
3 Bases and 1 Home Plate
10 Colored Cones
• Playing field - grass, dirt, asphalt or cement
• Place bases and home plate in the same general arrangement as you would a baseball diamond but make the base paths much closer to each other (i.e., 20 feet apart)
• 2 or more adults/play leaders
Let’s Get Started:
1. Gather children and have them watch and listen as directions of how to play are demonstrated.
2. An adult/play leader places the ball on home plate.
3. One child stands or approaches and kicks the ball as hard as he/she can.
4. Children who are not “kickers” can position themselves near the basesto catch the ball that is kicked into the playing field,
5. The “kicker” runs around the bases and returns to home plate.
6. The game continues until every child has had a turn or “runs out of breath.”
7. Every child is a winner when they cross home plate! Be assured that they will want to kick the ball and run the bases again and again. This is play with a purpose and promotes coordination and lots of vigorous physical activity!
• As children become more skillful, the adult/play leader can roll the ball to the child at home plate and the child stands and kicks the ball that is rolled at them.
SETC - Colored Cones
BASES - Indoor/Outdoor Bases
PGSET - Playground Balls
KICKBALL - Kickball for all Ages
BALLKIT - Ultimate Ball Kit
Monday, May 16, 2011
Fruit Family Exercise
Materials Needed: Available indoor or outdoor space
Music: CD player and CD
Let’s Get Started:
1. Children sit in a circle. Have children count off as an “apple,” “orange,“ and “banana.”
2. “Apples” stand up, leave the circle and scatter in the available space.
3. “Oranges” go and stand toe to toe with an “apple.”
4. “Bananas” go join an “apple/orange” pair to create a “Fruit Family” consisting of an “apple, orange and banana.”
5. When the music starts, apples will do an exercise of their choice (jumping jacks, jog in place, touch toes, etc.).
6. “Oranges” will count the number of completed exercises the “apples” do.
7. “Bananas” will be the “cheerleaders” and encourage the “apples” with actions and words to motivate and inspire by jumping up and down, arms in the air shouting “You can do it!” “You have the power!” “You have the energy!” “You GO!”
8. When the music stops, “oranges” tell the “apples” how many exercises they did, and “bananas” will give the “apples” a high five, pat on the back, round of applause or any other affirmation of their choice.
9. The game continues with the “oranges” exercising, “bananas” counting, and the “apples” cheerleading. When the music stops, the “bananas” tell the “oranges” the total amount of exercises completed, and the “apples” share in the celebrating with the oranges.
10. The game ends after the “bananas” exercise, “apples” count, and “oranges” cheer encouragement.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Indoor or outdoor space with boundaries -- Colored Cones or Hop Around Steps
Let’s Get Started:
1. Children standing or sitting as they listen and watch as the directions are given and demonstrated.
2. When children hear the command, “scrambled eggs,” they are to jog (running at a slow pace) in the play space without bumping into each other.
3. When the command “icebergs,” is given, children are to freeze (children cease all activity) in place without falling down.
4. Other commands of locomotor transport skills/traveling actions will be given, such as jumping, marching, hopping, galloping, tiptoe, etc. When children hear that command they must switch to the new movement.
5. Example of how game would flow: “scrambled eggs” (jog), “icebergs” (freeze), “jump” (blasting off with two feet and landing on two feet), “scrambled eggs” (jog), “hop” (blasting off on one foot and landing on the same foot), “icebergs” (freeze), “marching” (a precise type of walk, accompanied by lifted knees and swing arms), “icebergs” (freeze).
1. Try to trick children by repeating a command twice in a row.
2. Encourage creative movement by asking the children to “fly like an airplane,” “gallop like a horse,” “move like a train,” etc.
3. Ask the children give the movement commands or let one child be the game leader and give all the commands.
1. Physical activity: any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure.
2. Locomotor transport skills or traveling actions: body propels, projects, or moves from one location to another by jumping (with both feet), hopping (with one foot), galloping (step-hop with one foot leading forward), tiptoe (balance on balls of feet and toes with heels raised), skipping (series of step-hops done with alternate feet), among others.
3. Gross motor skills: using the large muscles of the arms, legs and trunk(to perform traveling actions).
4. Space awareness: knowing where the body can and should move in relationship to other people in the play space.
5. Shared space: all of the designated play space that can be used by everyone.
6. Cooperative play: games and activities that the participants play together rather than against one another.
7. Listening skills: ability to follow verbal directions.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Here are some more ideas to use with toddlers to kindergartners...
Come Under My Umbrella (Tune: “Did You Ever See a Lassie?”)
Have the children hold the parachute at their waist (belly button), then the teacher says, “Touch toes, ready, lift,” while singing...(and keep touching toes and lifting)
Come under my um-brel-la, um-brel-la, um-brel-la.
Come under my um-brel-la, it’s rain-ing today.
Hold parachute at waist and shake up and down, while singing...
With thunder and lightning,
With thunder and lightning!
Touch toes, ready, lift, repeat - while singing...
Come under my um-brel-la,
It’s rain-ing today!
After a few verses, let the children sit under the parachute and enjoy the visual, auditory, and tactile stimulation with adults shaking the parachute above their heads while continuing to sing...with thunder and lightning, with thunder and lightning...
Have the children hold the parachute at their waist (belly button), then say, “Touch toes, ready, lift.” The parachute is inflated and the children take three steps forward on your command of “Volcano.” They quickly bring the parachute down and kneel on the outside edge (the air that is trapped inside of the parachute makes it look like the shape of a volcano). On the command, “Volcano Erupt,” the children creep on hands and knees or crawl on their bellies to the center of the parachute which deflates the parachute making the “volcano erupt.” The children love this activity which has them working cooperatively as well as using their imaginations. Please...do it again and again!
Sit one child on top of the mesh hole in the center of the parachute or two children sitting back to back on top of the mesh middle. Everyone else holds the parachute with one hand and steps backward so the parachute is very taut and up off the floor, except for the children sitting in the middle on the floor. All those holding the parachute walk in a circle going left (everyone should be walking forward--looking at the back of the person in front of them). As we walk, we chant--
Motor boat, motor boat go so slow,
Walk faster or jog the next time we go around, chanting--
Motor boat, motor boat go so fast,
The last time around the circle pick up more speed and all run, saying --
Motor boat, motor boat, step on the gas!
Continue playing Motor Boat until everyone who wants a turn gets a ride on top of the parachute.
A parachute (plus lots of other really great equipment to use for physical activity) and a DVD with me actually conducting parachute activities can be found in Sharron’s Play Power Motor Skills Set. You can’t go wrong with this teacher-friendly resource kit to get kids up and moving. Any questions or need more info just contact me at 925-980-8353 or email@example.com.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Car and Driver
Materials and Set Up:
One hoop per child
Available indoor or outdoor space
Let’s Get Started:
1. Children watch and listen as directions of how to play are demonstrated.
2. Each child, standing up, holds the hoop in front of their body. Tell them to imagine that the hoop is the steering wheel of a car and that they are the driver.
3. When children hear the following commands they are to do the corresponding movements as directed:
Green Light = GO (walk and turn hoop like driving)
Yellow Light = MOVE SLOWLY (getting ready to stop)
Red Light = STOP (freeze in place as if at a stop light or stop sign)
School Zone = SKIP
Highway = RUN
Uphill = MARCH
Flat Tire = HOP
Tunnel = DUCK DOWN (bend knees and lower level of body)
Pot Hole = LEAP
Woo-Woo-Woo = MOVE TO THE SIDE AND STOP (emergency vehicle coming)
• With younger children only use 3 – 4 commands/movements.
• Vary the length of time between the commands.
• Try to “trick” children by repeating commands twice in a row.
• Children may devise other commands and movements.
On the Road Again
Materials and Set Up:
One hoop per child
Available indoor or outdoor space
Music player and music (i.e., Song: Little Deuce Coupe by The Beach Boys or On the Road Again by Willie Nelson)
Let’s Get Started:
1. Instruct the children to put their hoop on the ground and stand inside it.
2. Tell them that the hoop is their steering wheel. When the music starts, they are to lift the hoop up to waist level and use both hands to turn it right and left as if driving while they walk around in the open space.
3. When the music stops, the children stop and drop their hoops to the ground as if they’ve reached a stop sign or stop light.
4. When the music starts again, they bend down and pick up their hoops and continue to drive.
5. Fun ensues when you start and stop the music for short intervals or keep it on for long stretches. Add some dialogue to the game by mentioning that they may be caught speeding if going to fast.
6. The game lasts the length of one song.
Challenge children with this variation of the game. When the music stops ask the children to pair up. One partner steps inside the hoop and holds it at waist level. The second player steps in front of his partner in the hoop and holds his hoop in front of his body like a steering wheel. Children are to work together and move using both hoops when the music starts. When the music stops, they switch places and get to play opposite roles. This game teaches the children to work together and make cooperative decisions about moving in the same direction. Encourage the partners to come up with other ways to move together using both hoops.
Both of these hoop games promote and develop the following goals or learning outcomes:
• Locomotor transport skills: body moves from one place to another by walking, leaping, hopping, skipping, etc.
• Gross motor development: using the large muscles of the arms, legs and trunk to perform movements such as walking, running, marching
• Directionality: the inner sense and knowledge of where things are in relation to the body
• Spatial awareness: coordinated movement in relationship to other objects in the environment
• Bilateral coordination: using both sides of the body in unison
• Midline: the invisible line running from the head to the toes and dividing the body into right and left halves
• Crossing the midline: means that one hand spontaneously moves to the other side of the body to work there (i.e., turning the hoop like a steering wheel in a large arc)
• Listening skills: ability to follow verbal directions
• Cooperation: two or more people playing together rather than against one another, just or the fun of it
• Agility: quick, easy, lively movements
• Imagery: formation of mental images by memory, imagination or fancy
Thursday, January 20, 2011
• Our children inherit more than our genes. They inherit our lifestyles. We need to be healthy and consistent role models for physical activity and nutrition. We have the first generation of children who will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
• “Approximately one in five children are overweight or obese by the time they reach their sixth birthday...” (White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity report to the President, May 2010.)
• As little as 10 minutes of physical activity (short bursts of moderate to vigorous physical activity) is beneficial to children and adults. It yields improvements in blood pressure, waist circumference, mood and attention span.
• Many children can be the “boss of their body” and “tell their muscles what to do.” In other words, they can self-regulate their movement behaviors and motor activity. We just need to provide the space, time and opportunities!
• There are many motor milestones (i.e., hopping, skipping, throwing, catching) in early childhood. We should make a career of celebrating early childhood milestones with children.
• We need to be intentional about how children play; we need to provide quality experiences facilitated by informed adults.
• Make physical activity FUN and children and adults will COME! (Plan and participate in the activities or games that you are facilitating.)
• Here are two great resources that I look forward to tapping into: http://www.choosykids.com/, http://www.headstartbodystart.org/
Physical activity and play is receiving a great amount of attention that we should all take to heart and body! Now, let’s get moving! Remember to keep checking back here to see the many games and activities that will be featured in this year’s Sharin’ with Sharron Blog on Movement, Play and Physical Activity!