Summer is here and let’s be honest, not every day is going to be an ideal summer day.
You know, those days when poor air quality keeps you indoors, parents are late for pick up and technology doesn’t cooperate, leaving you scrambling for a backup plan.
Don’t sweat it! With a few physical activity games in your back pocket, you’ll be able to keep staff and kids engaged, energized and smiling all summer long.
When You Need a Quick Energizer
Try Deal or No Deal for a quick pick-me-up energizer that costs only pennies! All you need are a few envelopes and scrap paper.
Boost your selfie game by snapping pics while playing Back-to-Back Get Up from Playworks (no equipment required) or doing #SquatADay or #PlankADay.
Go DIY with Howell’s Vowel (which I recently learned from Healthier Generation CEO, Howell Wechsler). Pick a simple movement, like running in place. The leader then calls out letters of the alphabet; when the leader says a vowel, everyone stops. Simple, right?
Play the Mirror Challenge and make a video for social media! Ready for a laugh? Watch Healthier Generation staff do it at a recent staff meeting or go low-tech and ask two volunteers to model the activity – no video required. Play multiple rounds and ask students to switch partners to extend the fun. Add secret handshakes and getting-to-know-you questions to turn the activity into the ultimate icebreaker.
When You Need More
Give students a roll of masking tape and ask them to create a path around the room with lines of tape. Introduce Alligator Swamp Trail and enjoy the benefits of walking while going on a silly indoor adventure! Pair students up for a reflection walk that fosters dialogue. Ask the group to discuss questions like “what do you enjoy the most about summer?” and “what’s on your summer reading list?”
Have a howling good time with Zoo Lib (page 151) from Afterschool Energizers. This one is especially fun with adults – we are all kids at heart, right?
Two words: dance party! Don’t forget old school moves like “hammertime.” Add cool down activities like simple yoga poses to keep the energy from getting too wild.
Do a card trick! On a large sheet of paper, assign movements to the four playing card suites. For example, running in place for diamonds, squats for hearts, jumping jacks for clubs and arm circles for spades. Ask students to take turns pulling cards from a deck (remove all non-number cards). Once the card is pulled, everyone does the movement with the number of repetitions that correspond to the number on the cards. For example, the 10 of clubs equals 10 seconds of jumping jacks!
Print Healthier Generation Physical Activity Task Cards and ask students to introduce the activities, like NFL Stadium Geography, and lead them. Which one will be the favorite of your group?
This summer, when things don’t go as planned or when your energy is low, don’t worry, be active! Have fun, be inclusive and provide plenty of healthy hydration.
Get more healthy summer tips from Alliance All Stars. Do you want even more ideas? Explore our Training Center and Healthier Generation afterschool blog.
How will you stay energized this summer?
Tweet your ideas to me using @hatchdw
*All photos courtesy Alliance for a Healthier Generation
For breakfast, I had a coffee and a cashew smoothie.
Author Profile: @danielh