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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Active kids: learning and practising movements

As this year draws to a close, it’s time to start thinking of what we can do for healthy movement and exercise for our kids over the summer break.

Now is a great time to think about teaching some simple movements and good motor skills. This will help children learn body awareness and develop their natural athletic ability.

I believe that if you let children learn to be free with movement, then their natural athleticism will shine through. When kids are growing up, they will naturally find a walking/running gait, as well as spatial awareness, awareness of their movements and hand-eye coordination. This understanding is their inherent athletic skill. Through play and other activities like jumping, swinging, swimming, climbing, bike riding and bushwalking, kids get to learn how to problem solve and conquer obstacles.

Remember that every child has different abilities for different activities, and this makes all their movements individual. Give children a chance to learn, play and explore in their own way to begin with, and then you can refine their individual movements if needed.

Kids’ workout

  • 3 x 30 secs hopping on single leg, each leg
  • 3 x water bucket carrying: have 3 buckets (2 filled with water, 1 without) spaced 10m apart, the empty bucket the furthest away. Race one another to fill each empty bucket with water without spilling any!  
  • Run a lap of the backyard or house, and then draw a map of your house and mark out your run
  • 3 x 10 push-ups (on your knees)
  • 3 x 1 min skipping
  • 30 secs plank (challenge Mum or Dad!)
  • 5 x balance walks (place a length of timber along the ground and use it as a ‘balance beam’)
  • 3 x 50 finger grips: squeeze a tennis ball in each hand as tight as you possibly can

Body awareness and development

  • 10m ball bouncing, each hand
  • Jumping from box to box (half a metre apart)
  • Catching left hand/right hand
  • Throwing a ball 1metre up to 10 metres (to a wall or a partner)
  • Bouncing a ball off a wall high then low
  • Running – slow to fast (over 10 metres, play a game of tag)
  • Running distance (work on breathing)
  • Kicking a ball at a moving target
  • Riding a bike slow to fast and hill climbing

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