Monday, September 19, 2011

Let's Move, Let's Play!

Providence Children’s Museum is a proud new member of Let’s Move! a comprehensive national initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama that is dedicated to solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation by encouraging healthy eating and physical activity. Active play is an important part of children’s healthy growth and development and the Museum is committed to offering interactive play and learning experiences that promote physical activity, and to providing parents with resources about nurturing kids’ growth through play.

Many kids have plenty of opportunities for active play – especially outdoors – during the summer.  To ensure they keep moving during the school year, here are some playful ideas contributed by the Museum’s educators:

  • Strike a pose.  With a friend, take turns forming funny positions and different shapes with your bodies.  Trace each other’s outlines (with chalk on pavement, marker on paper, or a stick in the sand or dirt).
  • Follow the leader – as animals!  The leader hops like a frog, crawls like a crab or slithers like a snake.  Everyone else does the same and tries to guess what kind of animal they have become.
  • Create an obstacle course in your house or backyard, with things to hop or climb over and tunnels to wriggle through.  Or build a fort with sheets, furniture and cardboard boxes.  Or make a mini-golf course with objects found around the house.
  • Have crazy challenge races – playful competitions where the object is to complete a challenge in the shortest time possible.  For example, run to the other side of the room or yard, put on all the clothes in a box and run back.  Make challenges more difficult by running backward or hopping on one leg.
  • Don’t put the beach ball away just yet!  See how long you can keep it bouncing in the air before it hits the ground.  Also find out how many times you can hula hoop or jump rope without stopping.
  • Play balloon volleyball (with or without a net) or make rackets using paper plates and rulers for a game of balloon badminton.  Try each game outside or in a roomy indoor space.
  • Strreeettch!  Stretching feels good and it can be done standing, sitting or lying down.  Start small with wriggling fingers and toes or with simple reaches and twists.  Make sound effects or sing a song to accompany each stretch.
  • Move to the music.  Play several styles and make up different dances.  Or try games of freeze dance or musical chairs.
  • Take a hike!  If it’s close enough, walk to school together instead of driving.
There are more great ways to keep kids moving this fall.  Look for “Let’s Move, Let’s Play!” programs on the calendar plus explore the Museum’s play and learning environments (and learn some fun facts) with a new Let’s Move! physical activity sheet. Here's a selection:

Happy playing!

A version of this article was originally posted on Kidoinfo.

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