Here’s a SPUD-tacular idea for a game that can be played inside or out.
All you need are a couple of large potatoes and two bowls or buckets to catch them in.
First, decide with your little one on the places to start and finish your potato drop race and place the two bowls or buckets at the finish line.
Then, standing at the start, give your little one a potato to hold, not in their hands but between their knees.
If you join in, your little one can see how it’s done.
Keeping the potato between your knees walk towards the finishing line.
Finally, once you are as near to the bowl or bucket as possible, open your knees and drop the potato in.
If the potato is dropped along the way, or if hands touch it, go back to the start and try again.
See who can ‘potato drop’ the quickest!
Have a s-MASH-ing time!
(With thanks to Push2Play for the inspiration and Freepik for the image)
Physical Copycat can be played with your little one either inside or outside and not only helps them to be active, but also helps their memory and sequencing skills.
Make up a little sequence of physical actions and encourage your little one to watch you.
You might stand up from a seated position, march on the spot, jump up and down and then sit down again.
Can your little one replicate your sequence?
Then, swap over and have your little one demonstrate a sequence of moves for you to copy.
The game can be made as easy or as hard as you want.
You might start off with just two moves in your sequence, building it up as you go to include more.
Or, with older children, you might suggest that they count how many hops, jumps, kicks, you put into your sequence and ensure they do the same.
Egg and Spoon
The classic egg and spoon game is a great way to develop children's balance and hand eye coordination.
All you need are some different sized spoons, from teeny-tiny teaspoons to large serving spoons (whatever you have to hand) and some fruit, for example tangerines, apples or bananas.
Alternatively, instead of fruit you could use or a small cuddly toy or even a rolled-up sock - anything that will balance on the spoon.
Firstly, find a space inside or out where your little one can safely walk in a straight line towards you, because you are the finishing line!
Next, choose a spoon and balance an object on it. Ask your little one to hold the spoon with two hands and then, when you’re a little distance away, encourage them to walk slowly towards you.
By walking slowly, they begin to focus on their movements, developing a deeper awareness of their body, how it moves, reacts and how they can control it.
Oops! Did the object fall off?
Just encourage them to pick it up and continue until they reach their prize - a cuddle from you!
Then do it all again, only this time with just one hand holding the spoon, or with a different sized spoon or a different object.
To make it more challenging, you could also encourage your little one to add some twirls into their walk or put some cushions on the floor for them to very carefully step over.
They could try walking backwards as they keep balancing their object on the spoon.
Touch it Tag
Here’s a lovely way to start your day: a game of ‘touch it tag’! Depending on the weather, you can play inside or out.
In a tag game, someone is ‘it’ and chases the other player, trying to touch them and making that person ‘it’.
But in our version, you call out something to touch and then your little one races to find that thing. For example, touch the yellow cushion, touch something shiny, touch something soft, bumpy, cold or smooth…
Then, to make it more fun and turn it into the game of ‘touch it tag’, try to tag your little one before they reach that special something!
Then swap over and encourage your little one to call out something for you to touch.
We love this brilliant activity.
It’s a great way to get your little one’s hands and fingers moving, developing and strengthening all their muscles, the muscles that they will eventually need to help them to become writers.
All you need is a tennis ball (or similar hollow ball) and a collection of whatever you have around the house for ‘food.'
(With thanks to TheFirstFiveYears for sharing)
ABC Obstacle Course
Have you tried the ABC of all obstacle courses? - Agility, Balance and Coordination, all wrapped into a bundle of fun!
We love this idea from Kidspot.
All you need are a couple of chairs, a blanket, a few cushions and you’re all set to go.
Crawl like a commando through the chair tunnel, step from one cushion to the next like a ballet dancer, and balance like an acrobat along the sausage cushion.
No sausage cushion?
You could use a long line of tape on the floor for your little one to walk along instead.
Be careful to not step off!
Want to make it more challenging?
Why not try putting something on and off as quickly as possible, like a jacket or coat?
Here’s a lovely game from Pink Oatmeal, which aims to help improve balance and co-ordination and can be done inside or outside.
All you need are three different sized containers, three rolled up sock balls, and an eager little one ready to have a go!
Encourage your little one to place the sock ball on top of one foot, then gently lift the foot, slowly moving it nearer to the first container, before ever so carefully dropping the sock ball inside.
Happy Balancing! From the Family Time Tips Team.
Today, whether you’re inside or out, why not try making bridges and playing the ‘Under, Over’ game.
For this activity, you need to lie on the ground and make a bridge shape with your body. Encourage your little one to crawl under the bridge. Then, get in the plank position, and this time your little one steps over you. The best part is taking it in turns! Can you crawl under?
Floor is Lava
Today, why not try the fun, physical game ‘Floor is Lava’?
One option is to set up an obstacle course using different items of furniture such as chairs, cushions or small tables.
Your little one must make their way across it, without touching the dangerous ‘lava’ floor.
Can they go forwards then backwards without putting their feet down?
The other way to play is a bit like musical statues.
Play music to your little one so they move around on the floor and then when the music stops, shout ‘floor is lava!’
At that point they must move quickly to a safe spot, away from the floor, so they cannot be caught.
Don’t get burnt!