At this point it may feel like COVID-19 has taken over your life. Many luxuries have been taken away from us at this time – a perfect example of this is your local Parisi closing. What you may not realize is how much this lack of physical activity is affecting your child.
Whether they are missing their gym classes everyday or Spring sports practices, this disturbs their normal routines. It is so important now more than ever before to keep them active by getting them up off the couch or outside for some fresh air once their online classes are done for the day.
This is the perfect opportunity to encourage a child who may not be as active as they should be to get moving. We have 5 games to be played easily at home that will not only be fun for your child, but also get them the healthy level of activity that is necessary. On top of this, these games will also give you quality time to spend with your child in the beautiful Spring weather to make the most out of the current situation we have found ourselves in.
Ultimate Rock, Paper, Scissors
The two players face off just as a normal game of rock, paper, scissors goes, but they are both in a squat hold. Play best 2 of 3, then the player that loses does a box jump. Different box sizes can be used depending on the ability of each player. Most importantly this game reinforces squat form, as the game should last 2 – 5 minutes. If you do not have a box suitable for jumping, use an object of appropriate height for the athlete to jump over, or replace with any similar movement that your athletes enjoy!
Players stand up quietly and transform into their favorite toy, sneaking across the space until they reach the toy box. They cannot be seen moving, but if they are, they must freeze. If after freezing the player is seen moving, they have to start over. The toy story game is a fun way to get your kids running around while using their imaginations.
The Kangaroo Trail game is good for multiple players, and can be fun for athletes of all ages just by increasing the difficulty of the trail.
Just as a kangaroo does, players will focus on their two-foot jumping and landing. When there is an open ring placed on the ground players can jump into it landing evenly on both feet. They are to stay in that ring until the next one is placed down. Then the first player can jump forward to the next ring and the second player in line can jump into the first one.
The game can repeat with different line leaders. Various ring sizes can be used to challenge the players as well. It is key to remind the players that they are like a team of kangaroos, so they are to stay together following each other into the rings. This is a fun way to get your team of kangaroos laughing together and working on their two-foot jumps.
If you don’t have hoops, you can use paper plates or create boxes on the trail using tape.
Domino Relay Game
The Domino Relay Game is best for children ages 4 – 7 years old. The main focus here is to learn the game’s rules and follow specific instructions.
First, lay out all of the dominos dots facing up. The players are told what tile to bring that will fit to connect the dominos and build them out. Whichever player has the domino that works will run to where they are set up and place it at the end of the trail. After placing their domino down, players will run back to their other unmatched dominos.
The game ends when there are no dominos remaining that match. Then, let the kids count the number of dots remaining on the dominos.
This game is great because it focuses on listening to directions, counting, and running a solid amount. You don’t need giant dominos for this game, a regular set will do.
The Ladder Challenge should take about 10 minutes, calling for 2 – 8 athletes ages 7 years and up. The goal of the Ladder Challenge is to increase foot speed and change of direction in a competitive environment by catching up to their partner and tagging them when in arm’s length.
The objective of this challenge is to teach the athletes quick feet and competitiveness. The space required is approximately 5 yards. Equipment needed is a stopwatch and two ladders.
If you don’t have a ladder at home, you can use string or tape to create a similar course. Or, use discount code “PARISI20” to save 20% on the SKLZ Quick Ladder.
Leading up to the challenge you should progress each athlete through the ladders with proper technique being formed. To begin, place the ladders side by side 2 -3 yards apart. Have one athlete start at the bottom of one ladder, as the rabbit and another athlete at the top of the second ladder, as the chaser.
Without hitting the ladder or skipping boxes, the chaser has to get as close to the rabbit and tag them before time runs out. This game will get athletes heart rate up, but also force them to focus on their foot work in a competitive setting.
Health Brings Us All Together
Use these games to help your children stay active, but also use them to take a step back from everything going on and take a different point of view. Of course, Parisi Speed School closures is not ideal for anyone, but it is so important to see the value in health. Health is something that is often taken for granted, but this is a time to be thankful for the good health of family and friends.
These simple games may just give you the time you need to bond with your child, building your relationship for the future. Although social distancing is mandatory at this time, Zoom or FaceTime can be used to get friends and family involved in the fun. COVID-19 is giving us all a new perspective that can teach us all a lesson. We are not stuck at home, we are safe at home and should use that to our advantage for our health.