The long days of winter, rainy days of springtime, and hot hot hot summer days can trap you and your family indoors – but don’t fear – it doesn’t have to be TV and video games or kids running circles while you try to get them engaged in a craft activity (that they might not have the attention span for anyway!). . . here are three simply ways to get moving with your kids indoors, facilitate natural learning, and pump up their creativity and self-esteem while you’re at it!
1. Just DANCE:
Turn up the radio, put on some music, and just dance. Try playing follow the leader while dancing around the house. First one to stop dancing gets tickled!!!! (This one is great to get the wiggles out, and for cardio, parents!)
2. Mirror, Mirror
This movement game doesn’t require music, but playing some soothing, relaxing music can help active kids settle into the concentration that’s needed. Sit facing your child and tell him that he is your mirror. Everything that you do, he must do exactly. Move slowly so that your child can follow you, and ask him to maintain eye contact with you while he follows your movements.
After about a minute, let him take a turn being the mover, and you be the mirror. Encourage your child to move slowly and deliberately to show and follow movements. (Author’s note: This is amazing to watch when teaching a class of children. The creativity and focus of kids when they get good at this game is awesome!)
Ideally, this game is played with three or more children, but it can be a one-on-one game as well. Have child/children crouch down in a ball and put their heads down so they cannot see you. They are the popcorn and you are the “popper”.
Have the children drum on the floor with their hands, starting slowly. Describe the kernels getting warmer and warmer and warmer, and have the children drum their hands faster and faster as the heat rises.
When you tap a child on the back, it is their turn to POP up and jump in place. When all of the “kernels” have popped, every one shouts “Pop! Pop! Pop! Popcorn!!!!” and then returns to the crouched position, becoming “kernels” once more.
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Have fun with your children playing these indoor creative movement and gross motor games! Staving off indoor boredom by getting active with your kids promotes healthy habits, self-esteem, and creativity! For more creative movement games, see Easy Creative Movement Activities on Natural Parents Network.