Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rainy Day Active Play Ideas

No shoes, no problem! It’s summertime. It’s wet and warm outside and water play comes naturally to young children. And don’t hesitate to join in too. As long as there is no lightning or thunder, being outside is a joyful experience! “Get your feet wet” with some of these rainy day active play ideas.

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.

4. Colorful rain dance. Allow children to paint an arm or leg with 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

Round, Round, Round, Round...I Run Around

A ball is round and invites play with a partner or a group of friends. Let’s go outside, and play an active game that combines kicking a ball, as in soccer, and running around bases, as in baseball. No wonder kickball is sometimes called soccer-baseball.
Kickball for Little Kids
There are no outs or fouls in this preschool friendly game, just a lot of kicking and running.

Materials Needed:
Rubber playground ball
3 Bases and 1 Home Plate
10 Colored Cones

Set Up:
• 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.

Recommended Products:
SETC - Colored Cones
BASES - Indoor/Outdoor Bases
PGSET - Playground Balls
KICKBALL - Kickball for all Ages
BALLKIT - Ultimate Ball Kit