Learning Through Physically Active Play
Research from healthychildren.org suggests that only 1 in 3 American children are physically active every day. So as parents how can we help our kids to be more physically active in a way that they will enjoy? Here's some fun ways to combine physical activity and learning through play.
1. Process Art
Process art is simply when the art activity is more about the process of making the art, rather than the end result. Some forms of process art require lots of gross motor movement. Here are a few examples:
Bouncy ball painting: let your kids enjoy bouncing paint covered bouncy balls along a large piece of paper. They will love the excitement of trying to run after the balls to catch them!
Drum to the beat: combining the joys of music and art with some fun drum stick painting! This one is sure to get kids excited while giving their arms a great workout!
Blow art: give those lungs a good workout with some straw blowing art. This picture shows a fun 'Rainbow Race' using watercolor paints and straws.
Bubble wrap and plastic wrap painting: get your kids stomping and jumping over their masterpiece! Simply put blobs of paint on a piece of card and wrap it in plastic wrap or bubble wrap. The best thing is that the mess is totally contained as well!
Water gun paint fight: fill up some water guns with diluted paint, wear white t-shirts as the canvas, and chase each other around the garden! Honestly one of the best activities we've ever done!
2. Outdoor Play
Getting outdoors and encouraging your kids to enjoy some fresh air and activity is so crucial to their well-being. Here's a few ideas for ways to learn through outdoor play.
Nature walks: head to your local park or forest and enjoy a nature walk or hike. Giving your child an activity to focus on such as a nature tally or something to spot with binoculars is a great way to add motivation.
Number squirt: make simple Math learning fun by taking it outside and adding a water gun. In this addition activity the aim was to squirt the correct number on the chalkboard with water. A good workout for those gross motor skills.
Bike time trial: set up a fun sports competition such as a bike time trial, with an educational link to numeracy. It will involve lots of physical activity to draw the track with chalk, let alone to cycle the track at top speed!
Action lines- challenge each other to remain balanced as you complete different methods of movement along chalk lines.
3. Problem Solving Adventures
Create a real sense of adventure by challenging your kids to a STEAM based task that requires perseverance and is somewhat physically demanding.
Treasure map STEAM kit- combining our love of LEGO and being active outside was such a winner with this activity. Visit the blog to read the full details, but in a nut shell it involved making a LEGO pirate map for a matey to find the hidden treasure buried far far away in the yard.
Monster puddle potions- get thinking scientifically with a fun way to turn puddles into monster potions! Add crushed chalk, baking soda and vinegar to a puddle and you'll get a super fizzy and fun reaction! Your kids will be exhausted by the time they finish jumping up and down all day long.
Kids love a competitive challenge and it certainly ups their effort levels. Here are a few simple game ideas for getting your littles moving.
Name hopscotch- this is an easy one to set up on your driveway or inside. Plan out a hopscotch grid using the letters of your child's name and then enjoy playing the game.
Jumping levels: using cones and tape create a game that requires physical activity. In the picture you can see how the levels got progressively harder, requiring greater strength to jump further.
DIY indoor tennis- you can use the simplest of materials to make a physically demanding game for your kids. We used paper plates, large craft sticks and a balloon to make this indoor tennis equipment!
We hope there are at least one or two activities above that you feel are attainable and will help to motivate your kids to be more active through their play based learning. Enjoy!
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
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