Sometimes a visit to the playground just won’t fit the day’s plan. Did you know you can turn your backyard into one? This is a project that can be done with your child and a friend or two that should take them some time. Materials needed are a fairly big box or two, a couple kitchen chairs, an old blanket and small, dark old towels. The old towels can be stepping stones, place them just far enough apart for jumping on a surface that won’t slip. The kitchen chairs covered with the old blanket can make a great tunnel for crawling through. It can also double as a fort. The box is for climbing into. Planning where things go, how to set them up and then playing in the ‘playground’ will keep them busy and out of trouble, maybe? Any other ideas for playground in the yard fun?
Time at the playground is more than working off energy. Lots of learning happens in this space.
On the swing, even if your child doesn’t yet know how, the back and forth motion is a basic rhythm. It’s also a simple pattern. The slide is a physical experience of opposites, up/ down. Think of all the coordination and muscle skills children learn: climbing, sliding, swinging, stretching, reaching, jumping, running, pushing, pulling, etc. Children learn various ways to experience and position their bodies in all different kinds of spaces; the slide is much less confined than inside the monkey bars. Children learn timing, too, as they calculate just when to let go and when to hang on. And that’s only a start. Besides all the physical learning, there’s social, emotional, communication, language, math, science and more.
Come back to the playground tomorrow for more learning and fun, a terrific idea for summer.
The headline in the paper said “The Hoop Is Back”. The reporter interviewed Sadie Yancey from Virginia and Toronto and she talked about the increasing popularity of hula hoops and their health benefits combined with fun. A hula hoop is a great idea for kids. Learning to hula with one can be tricky but kids can also roll it or skip with it. As a prop to encourage imaginative play the hoop can be the steering wheel of a car, bus, truck, or boat, or a flying carpet that travels to anywhere in the galaxy. Younger kids enjoy putting a hoop on the ground and just jumping in and out. The play value of a hoop far exceeds its inexpensive cost. There are scores of videos now on hooping. So, today’s call to action is: Hoop it up!
(For adults, Ms. Yancey, who has a master’s degree in biomedical physics, said a heavier hoop is much easier to use. Any other suggestions for those of us who are not great hoopers?)
Vacations can mean time in the car, a bus, a plane, or a train. Besides pit stops and breaks for bathroom visits, kids need to move their bodies. Besides needing to wear off some energy, kids also need exercise for their bones. Childhood is the most important time for a healthy skeleton. Activity makes children’s bones … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Exercise Pit Stops