Ahh!!! Winter break is approaching much too quickly. The challenge for our sanity plan is that we will absolutely need to provide our kids with at least 60 minutes of structured physical activity and 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity every day, even on pollution days. Of course, if you live in China, I want to remind you that indoors and outdoors do not differ in AQI unless you are using an air filtering system and your home is leak-proof. Make sure that your home is safe for your little ones!
When we get stuck inside on a pollution day, here are some “must do” gross motor activities our family will turn to:
Note: I am not affiliated with any of the products below. Some I have tried, some I haven’t; buy at your own risk!
- Keeping the Balloon Up
Simple: keep the balloon from falling on the floor. Buy balloons here. (Non-latex kind here.) I love this idea for balloon tennis. Get your clean flyswatters here.
I’m not great at just coming up with dancing ideas on my own, Youtube, Youku and IQIYI are full of dancing videos. If you need more inspiration, or you want to practice culture, go spy out some grandmas dancing in a local park. They’ve got moves.
I forgot how to play this, but jump OVER the square the ball, beanbag or stuffed animal lands on. Confession: I was not teaching kids to jump over the square, just to pick up the ball and keep jumping. I use a dry erase marker on my floors instead of taping it off.
I read on Pinterest somewhere that bubbles can be a dual activity. You can encourage your kids to pop all of the bubbles as fast as they can, and then in the next trail, do not pop the bubbles even if one lands on them. Self-control tester to the max! Buy bubbles here. Or make your own.
- Hide and Seek
This game can be recycled over and over. Don’t just hide and seek with one another, include items to turn it into a scavenger hunt, too.
- Follow the Leader
Follow the leader is easier than Simon Says for younger children. You can follow the leader through actual exercises or pretending you’re playing some sort of sport. Animal Walks could be used as an independent activity or combined with “Follow the Leader.”
- Indoor Scooters
This works for our space because we’ve got a lot of it for Beijing. These are similar to the ones I bought.
- Indoor Rollerblading
Again, we have a good amount of space and hard floors. These are the rollerblades we bought. Our kids are getting pretty decent at using them.
- Lines of Tape
I’m loving the above linked website, by the way, especially this list of hers that includes 100s of indoor activities for kids. Buy your thick tape here or thin tape here. If you get lots of tape, you can also do several types of gross motor activities with tape, talked about here.
If you’re a PE teacher, lucky you. You probably have access to a parachute, right? If not, use a bed sheet. Here are some game ideas.
If you haven’t gotten enough ideas to fill your days, here is another resource I like. You can also check out my Living and Teaching Abroad Pinterest board for more ideas. We’re personally thinking about borrowing our neighbor’s mini-trampoline while their toddler is out of town, but I’m a little bit uneasy about accepting the responsibility of if the trampoline were to break. I just foresee something crazy happening considering how my kids love jumping on the bed and couches!
ANNND… that brings me to Wonderful Wednesdays Giveaway
I’m scaling it back with my content creation to only give away one product, and to the first 10 people who claim it. Then it turns into a paid creation. You need to e-mail me to receive your free copy.
This week, I made awesome animal flashcards, coloring pages and clipart. I particularly love the rooster! Each pack includes a colored and uncolored option of the animal, so you can pick and choose depending upon your own needs.