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Creating enjoyable indoor movement games for your entire family

Creating enjoyable indoor movement games for your entire family

Playing with your children is a wonderful way to connect, lighten the mood and reinforce skills. A simple game can turn a difficult moment into a fun experience, while also enhancing coordination and balance.

Think about those rainy or snowy days when your kids are stuck in the house, and everyone is going berserk. While you know they need to run around and expend energy, running around the house yelling and fighting is not your idea of peace and quiet. What to do? The answer: Play a fun movement game.

Using newspaper sections, magazine pages or pieces of paper, lay six to eight pieces on the floor. Place them in a vertical row a few inches apart and tape them down. Don’t tell the kids why or what you are doing. Just do it. When they ask, mysteriously say, “You will see.”

Starting at the first paper, challenge your kids to jump one by one from the first paper to the last. Keep changing the challenge. For example, ask:

  • Can you jump the papers backwards? Can you jump them sideways?
  • Can you jump to every other paper? How far can you jump? From the first paper all the way to the last?
  • Can you hop from one to the other on one foot?
  • Can you hop backward on one foot?
  • Can you jump and twirl before you land?
  • Can you hop while singing the song, Twinkle Twinkle?
  • Can you jump while patting your head and rubbing your stomach? And chances are your children will likely think of new challenges along the way.

Be sure each challenge fits the child. Give an easier challenge to the littlest one and a more complicated challenge to the oldest child. Also ask your kids to make up challenges for you. This will keep everyone involved and interested.

Make this fun time with you children a high priority. Don’t answer any phone calls or emails. They can all wait until later. Your children will treasure this silly and fun time with you. Enjoy it!Creating fun movement games with your children can turn a bad day into a joyful one. Not only do these games create special bonding time with family, they also improve balance and coordination.

Creating fun movement games with your children can turn a bad day into a joyful one. Not only do these games create special bonding time with family, they also improve balance and coordination.

Photo Credits: © Chepko Danil - Fotolia.com

Barbara Sher, M.A., O.T.R.Occupational therapist, Author of ten books on children’s games

Barbara Sher, MA, OTR, has more than 40 years experience as a pediatric occupational therapist. She is the author of ten books on games that have been published in nine languages such as Hebrew, Arabic, Danish, Estonian, Spanish and Chinese. He...

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