As a mother of two active boys, I got frustrated from constantly hearing: “Increase children’s physical activity every month until they are doing at least 90 minutes a day”. What was I supposed to do: record every time my kids run or jump? What I felt the headlines have the most of are scary statistics, but no practical solutions of how to increase children’s fitness level. So I decided to put together some physical indoor games to keep children active, even as the weather outside turns cool. All you need is couple rolls of masking tape, an elastic band, helium balloons and your imagination. The games were tested on my two sons 2 and 5 years old, and I can assure you they are fun!
1. Helium balloon – sometimes we have balloons flying in our house for days after birthday party, so one day I decided to put them into use. I shortened the string just so that my sons could barely reach it when they jumped, and they were preoccupied for a solid fifteen minutes, straining to reach those balloons.
2. Elastic band – you would need 2 chairs and approximately 5 metres of an elastic band (it is very important to use elastic, rope might be unsafe). Tie the elastic band to create a huge loop, then stretch the elastic around the two chairs and let children jump in and out of the formed loop. You can change the height or width to make it more challenging and keep the children interested.
3. Hopscotch – I love masking tape; you can do so much with it! One of my favourites is a classic outdoor game, modified for indoor use. Use the tape to mark hopscotch grid on your floor or carpet. The rest – you know the rules.
4. Islands – create “islands” with masking tape in your hallway, spaced out just enough to make kids jump. Whoever steps off the islands is eaten by sharks.
5. Number squares – yup, masking tape again. Divide a large square into 9 or more small squares and make numbers in the middle of each square, not necessary in order. Then ask your children to jump from one number to another (guess what, they are burning energy and learning numbers at the same time).
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