INSIDE FUN ON THE RUN
Looking for physical activity ideas for your children when they can’t be outdoors? Below are some ideas taken from Cookie Magazine and FoodLink.
ALPHABET BODIES: See if kids can make all the letters of the alphabet using their bodies.
FOLLOW THE LEADER: Try to lead the kids through the house with funny moves: hopping, crab walking, crawling backwards, etc.
OBSTACLE COURSE: Spread a bunch of everyday items around the living room and set up an obstacle course. For example: hop over an umbrella on one foot, hop backwards on the other foot, walk backwards to a mixing bowl, put it on your head and turn around three times, walk sideways, etc. Let kids make this up.
BOWLING: Arrange a selection of empty cereal or shoe boxes, milk cartons, and paper-towel rolls at one end of a hallway. Use rolled-up socks as bowling balls and try to knock down the "pins."
SIMON SAYS: Make the directions and make them something active.
RED-LIGHT-GREEN-LIGHT: All the kids go to one end of the room or hallway, and you go to the other end. They are the "traffic"; you are the "light." When you say "green light," they move forward; when you say "red light," they stop. First one there gets to be the "light" next time. To minimize running in small spaces, have the kids crawl.
HOPSCOTCH: Use painter's tape to lay out a hopscotch grid and use a bean bag as the marker.
GIANT TIC-TAC-TOE: Painter's tape is great for creating a life-size tic-tac-toe game. Use rolled up socks for the X’ and O’s (Maybe black for X and white for O)
BALLOON GAMES: Gather several balloons and try to keep them in the air. As you master keeping one or two in the air add more. (Watch out for popped balloons that might end up in the mouths of young children.)
MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC: Put the music on and have kids make up their own dances and teach them to each other
HEARTBEAT: Ask children to lead each other in active exercises like hopping, jumping, running in place, skipping. etc to see if they can get their heart rates to increase. Learn how to check heart rates with these tips from LiveStrong.com. The number of beats the heart produces within 1 minute is your heart rate. To find a child's pulse, place the tips of your second and third fingers on the palm side of the child's wrist slightly below the base of the thumb. Press down until you feel the pulse, and then count each beat for 10 seconds. Multiply that amount by 6 to get the child's heartbeat. Can't find the pulse on the wrist? Another good place to find the pulse is along the neck on either side of the windpipe. Your thumb contains a pulse and often messes up the actual heart rate if you try to count with your thumb on either point.