Little ones love to be active! They love to run around, climb things and not stop moving. This energy is fantastic, but it’s important that we help them to direct that energy in a positive way that is supporting their overall development. I have come up with 2 super fun games your kids will love, that allow them to be active while also developing their gross motor skills, balance and overall coordination. These games require very little effort and no cost.
GAME 1: Animal Charades
This game is a child-friendly twist on an old classic. Ask your child to find some pictures of animals around the house and collect them in to a pile. An animal book would be perfect for this. Your child needs to pick one animal at a time and act it out using their body and without speaking. It is your job to guess what animal it is! When the child is acting it out, they will be using their body in new ways.
Even if the animal is obvious, let them take their time to show you their movements. You can even ask them to make the animal sound to help you guess! Once you guess it right, praise your little one for being so great at mimicking the animal. Then repeat with the next animal. Once your children get the hang of it they can play it with anyone!
GAME 2: Active Relay
Pick 5 small household items. These could be little toys, a spoon, a drink bottle, etc.
Place them in a spot together at one end of the room (you can play this outside if you need more space). Create a spot or use a marker of some sort to mark the start line on the other side of the room (the further away, the better). Start the child at the start line. You will then give them a movement and a specific object. They must do the movement all the way to the other side, collect the object and do the same movement all the way back with their object. Do this for every object, with a different movement each time. Movements could include things like frog jumps, kangaroo hops, marching, tip toes, hopping, crab walk, side steps, walking backwards, bunny hops, etc. Place the emphasis on them having to do the correct movement each time. Praise them each time they return with the correct object, having done the correct movement there and back. Kids will love the element of surprise each time they are given a new movement and object and this will allow them to practice a variety of skills. You can even play this with multiple children at once, each with their own set of objects!
These games can be played anytime, anywhere. They are fun and silly for the whole family. If the children struggle with any particular movements, take the time to show them how to do them. They will love being able to direct their high energy in to fun games!