With the sudden onset of winter we are going a little stir crazy over here.
Combine that with the shorter days, and we are taking advantage to get outside any chance we get.
Did you know outdoor play is known to help improve sleep in children?
Natural light helps set the body’s internal clock
Fresh air is relaxing and calming for children
Outdoor exercise encourages creativity and development of motor skills
I don’t know about you, but anything that helps us get a better night’s sleep around here is worth a try! Getting outside is a great way for us moms to get moving too. I’ve put together 3 fun games that double up as a way to get in some exercise. For these games all you need is one of those supermarket balls. I picked one that is on the smaller side and a little grippy for Sloane’s toddler hands, but as long as your kids can hold the ball with 2 hands any ball should work.
These games can be played with 2 people, but with Thanksgiving right around the corner (literally, I mean how is it next week already?!) I’ve included a ways to make these games a family affair.
Around the World
For this game you start standing back-to-back with one of you holding the ball. Then all you do is pass the ball around on your right and grab it back on the left. After a few rounds, change direction. This is the simple version I did with Sloane.
To make this a family game, divide into pairs. Pick 1 person to be the “caller”. The caller will shout out “left”, “right”, “up”, “down”. The caller can decide whether to call out a direction on every pass, or to wait a few passes before changing direction. Depending on how big your kiddos are you can get really creative and include things like “between the legs” and “over your head”. Feel free to get creative!
This is another fun game that is sure to get everyone’s hearts pumping and lots of laughs. Place the ball on the ground and stand in a circle around the ball. The “caller” will pick which direction to start. Then everyone will move in a circle while tapping each foot on the top of the ball. Be careful not to kick each other in the shins – if it’s getting a little too close, everyone take a step back from the ball and it may help to hold hands. The caller can yell out when to change direction. The change in direction is sure to result in a few hip bumps, and lots of laughs.
For this game you and your partner stand facing each other, or if you’re playing with a group, in a circle. The person starting with the ball goes into a squat and says one thing they are thankful for – “mom”, “pizza”, etc. and as they stand up they call out the name of someone else in the circle and toss the ball to that person. That person catches the ball, squats and says 1 thing they are thankful for, and calls on someone else.
I hope you all have fun playing these games and working up a great Thanksgiving appetite! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!