No need to go into orbit for this planet movement activity fun, kids can do it right at home. They will need a space for moving and a flat space ship.
Space ships aren’t usually flat, like magic carpets, but kids need something they can get into and out of, or on and off easily. The idea of this game is to count down, blast off and travel to a whole series of different planets for a variety of ways to move. This is how Little Sister played:
Little Sister put together some foam mat squares to be her space transport. She got into her space gymnastic suit and counted down. After blasting off, she pretended her space ship zoomed in space and then landed. The first planet where she stopped was the Jumping Planet so she got out and jumped around a few times. Then, it was back in the space ship, count down, blast off, and zooming some more. The second planet was the Crawl Planet, so she could only move by crawling. After some time on that planet, it was time to do the whole sequence and land on another planet again. Planet #3 was the Swim Planet, which meant stretched out on the floor with arms and legs spread out in order to move by swimming motions.
Leaving the Swim Planet required a modification of blast off position. She stretched out on her space ship so she could swim away. The next planet was the Hop On One Foot Planet. Her visit there wasn’t too long. At this point, I was no longer needed to suggest a kind of movement activity. She thought of a few herself, such as the Twirling Planet and the Walk Like A Robot Planet.
We know from experience that kids move all the time, but might not know why. Movement activities support the brain to make connections used for thinking. Kids need to move, not just for body development but for brain development too. Muscles need strengthening and coordination requires a tremendous amount of brain activity. A game, like this planet movement activity fun, is a great way to encourage kids to move. What planets will your child land on?
For more outer space or down-to-earth activities, land on the blog or play-of-the-day tabs. Welcome to Planet Play!
Yesterday was International Yoga Day which inspired a transportation yoga play-of-the-day for kids. Even if neither of you have done yoga before.
These are some simple yoga poses suggested by a yoga teacher and preschool educator.:
Car: Kids sit on the floor with their legs straight out in front of them. Before driving, they buckle their seat belts, and put their hands on an imaginary steering wheel. They can honk the horn and go through a tunnel, leaning forward to grab their feet and be tucked in.
Bicycle: Lie down on the floor with feet and legs pointing up to the sky. Legs go up and down just like pedaling a bike. Bike fast for going downhill and slow when you have to push really hard to get up the hill.
If there are two of you, sit facing each other with knees bent. Touch feet together and then lie down. Can you pedal together? This really takes coordination of two bodies and two brains.
Airplane: This is pretty tricky. Balance on one leg and stick the other leg straight out behind. Spread arms like airplane wings. Lean forward and see if you can make your back flat. Switch legs and try to balance on the other one.
Yoga is not just for experts. It’s for bodies and brains. We all know that kids are constantly on the move, but do you know why? Movement activities not only strengthen muscles but also coordination, and coordination is how bodies and brains work together. Balance and flexibility are key elements of yoga. Even if yoga is difficult at first for kids, they will improve and feel a sense of accomplishment when they do, boosting their self-esteem and confidence.
In the article, Yoga for Kids, Sherry LeBlanc writes, yoga can “give our children the opportunity to develop a supple healthy body, to lessen anxiety and to stimulate creative thinking and intellectual growth.” Will transportation yoga take your child places?
How do cars and trucks go? Zoom, zoom. How do kids go? They go zoom, zoom too and more with these transportation movement activities.
Kids will often zoom around like cars and trucks complete with sound effects. We can add in a few ideas to extend their movement play. How would an airplane go? Kids spread their arms to be airplane wings and off they go. Arms move a different way for trains. Kids don’t see trains as much as we did, so you might have to show them how to pump their arms, but they usually know the choo-choo and toot-toot. Where we live all kids can do the ferry horn but it doesn’t go fast, fast. It’s always fun to gallop like horses.
You can suggest different kinds of cars and trucks. Fire engines, ambulances, and police cars are better to do outside. Kid-sirens can be kind of loud in the house. Rockets require top speed and need a big space, pardon the pun. Remember to count down before blasting off. Rowing a boat doesn’t need much room at all but it helps to have a partner.
To slow down the zooming, we can tell kids they need to put on the brakes. For some still time, turn yourself into a gas pump and say they have to come over and get some more gas in the tank. This is a great time to give some hugs while they get filled up.
Even though it may drive parents and caregivers crazy, kids absolutely must move. Motor activities are vital for children’s development. For bodies, ” it is during this unique period that children build the basic movement abilities…. ” (Rae Pica, Learning By Leaps and Bounds, NAEYC) For brains, movement plays a role in making connections that are involved in thinking skills. (Optimizing Early Brain and Motor Development Through Movement, Early Childhood News)
Kids have built-in motors so can you turn the key and let your child enjoy some transportation movement activities and play?
Usually we don’t have to encourage kids to move around and be active. For both moving and stopping, kids can play a Red, Yellow, Green Light game. The rules of this game are very simple and easy to remember. They are like traffic lights. Red signals a stop, green means it’s okay to run around … Continue reading Transportation Play Activities #3: Red, Yellow, Green Light Game
We can give kids the most costly toys for presents, and they still end up playing with the box and wrapping. Here’s a new dance—the bubble wrap stomp. A parcel came to our house with bubble wrap. And what’s the most fun? Popping all those bubbles of course. Little Sister spend a good chunk of the … Continue reading Bubble Fun and Learning # 17: Bubble Wrap Stomp
Chasing bubbles outside is the best fun, but here are some bubble movement activities and game that kids can do indoors or out, in almost any size space. For some independent movement activity play, turn on some music and let your child dance around like bubbles. Of course, they need to have experienced blowing bubbles … Continue reading Play Learn with Bubbles #8: Bubble Movement Activities and Game
Kids have to move. No surprise to parents or caregivers. Play with toys can’t compete with play with movement activities. And so, kids will play by moving their bodies. Why is movement so necessary? The brain doesn’t finish growing before birth or the head would be too big for the available space. It especially doesn’t … Continue reading Kids Play with Anything #8: Child’s Play with Movement Activities
Ants and Kids Go Marching March fourth is a unique day on the calendar; it can also be an action, to march forth. Marching around can inspire some movement activities for kids. To start some movement play, you and your child can think of different ways to move around besides marching. There’s walking, running, hopping, … Continue reading Movement Activities for Kids – No Matter the Date
For a star play-of-the-day, kids need to be physically active so here are are some Star Wars movement activities for kids. Pinterest and FB are full of wonderful Star Wars crafts, games, and more for kids, if you have time to set it up, organize all the bits and pieces, and direct the activity. Yes, … Continue reading Star Wars Movement Activities for Kids
Dinosaurs and yoga are a rather unique way to celebrate Universal Children’s Day. In 1954 the UN established this day to promote children’s welfare. I know, we tend to think every day is children’s day, but in many places on the planet, children’s life is a struggle. But no matter where children live and their … Continue reading Dinosaurs and Yoga for Universal Children’s Day