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Games! Games! And More Games: Five ACTIVE Indoor Games For Winter!

Winter weather can prove to be a significant challenge for keeping kids physically active, particularly when indoor space is relatively confined or not readily available. While large format activities and games may not be ideal in this situation, there is still a wide variety of simple physical activities that can be included in stations, circuits, and other formats to get kids moving.

Below are five fun physical activities for kids that require little to no space or equipment and are ideal options for keeping kids moving when they’re indoors.

1.      The Shoe Tie Challenge  (click here)

Balance is an important motor skill that helps improve coordination and overall physical confidence. This activity provides a balance and fine motor coordination challenge.

1.  Stand on one leg.

2.  Without allowing the other leg to touch the ground, untie, then tie your shoe.

3.  Repeat on both sides.

To make it more challenging:

a)  Close eyes.

b)  Take shoe on and off.

2.  The Impossible Card Catch (click here)

Hand-eye coordination is the product of visual, spatial, and even rhythmic ability. Developing this skill expands the number of physical activities a child is able to feel confident and competent performing. This activity provides a unique hand-eye coordination challenge.

1.  Find a standard playing card.

2.  Toss the card in the air roughly head high and attempt to catch as it falls in an unpredictable pattern.

To make it more challenging:

a)  Toss the card in the air, then clap before catching.

b)  Toss the card in the air and catch with one hand.

c)  Toss the card in the air with eyes closed and open after releasing.

3. Letter Agility (click here)

Agility is an important physical skill that helps children improve their overall coordination for sports and other physical activities. This activity provides a fun unique agility challenge while helping kids develop spatial ability for creating letters and numbers.

1.  Provide the child a number, letter, or shape.

2.  They must create the number, letter or shape by moving in that pattern as fast as possible. For example, for a letter “S” the would have to move their feet to follow an imaginary “S” pattern on the floor.

To make it more challenging:

a)  Provide short sentences instead of single words.

b)  Do it with eyes closed.

c)  Move in different locomotion patterns, i.e. running, skipping, shuffling, etc.

4. Bean Bag Toss and Catch/Sit to Stand (click here): *Use a bean bag, tennis ball, or any soft implement that can be thrown.

Providing activities that require children to move their entire body weight in large ranges of motion against gravity help develop the strength and power to be able to participate in a variety of activities. Additionally, this helps children maintain a proper strength to weight ratio, providing them with adequate strength to efficiently move their body.

This activity provides both a strength and power, as well as a hand/eye coordination challenge using the child’s body weight and a simple implement.

1.  Sit on the floor, crisscross applesauce.

2.  Toss the beanbag in the air.

3.  Attempt to rise to the feet and catch the beanbag before it lands on the ground.

To make it more challenging:

a)  Start in different body positions, i.e. lying on the ground, on their side, stomach, etc.

b)  Begin with eyes closed until the beanbag is thrown.

c)  Catch with one hand.

d)  Stand and turn around one time.

5. Math Race (click here) 

Helping young children develop mathematical ability is an essential aspect of their capacity to develop cognitive reasoning skills. This activity combines an aerobic challenge in addition to mathematical skill.

1.  Stand back to back with the child.

2.  Perform a physical activity such as jumping jacks.

3.  On your call, both you and your child turn quickly to face one another with any number of fingers showing on each hand.

4.  The first to add the total number of fingers up between the two of you is the “winner” and gets to choose any exercise you do together for 10 repetitions.

5.   For example, you face back to back and perform jumping jacks. When you say “turn” you and your child face one another. You have two fingers up on one hand and three fingers up on the other. Your child has four fingers up on one hand and five on the other. The first person to be able to call out the total number of fingers, in this case, 14, would be the winner.

When the weather or anything else keeps kids inside, try these simple, fun, and effective activities. When kids move, both their bodies and brains benefit. Use the miracle of movement and the power of play to inspire the kids of today to become the happy, healthy, active adults of tomorrow.

I had a delicious breakfast of two eggs, 2 pieces of peanut butter toast, and salmon!

Author: @brettk

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