We need to burn some energy today….BAD! I thought this activity would encourage some fantastic gross motor development and slow my kiddos down a bit since we are still stuck inside with this crazy cold weather! Add this one to your list of gross motor games for kids…it’s time for the Olympic Torch Relay!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Empty paper towel tube or other rolled up paper to form a handle for the torch, ribbon, red/yellow/orange tissue paper
WHAT TO DO: Cut several lengths of ribbon to about 12″. On the end of each ribbon, write a movement activity (see the ideas below). After you have made your ribbons, stuff them into the empty tube and leave about 2″ of the blank ends hanging out. While holding into the ribbon ends, stuff tissue in the middle to make the flames. Give your child the torch and ask him to complete a designated lap around the house or table or, if you’re lucky, the yard for a warmup. After the initial lap, ask him to pull out one ribbon and complete the next lap in whatever way the ribbon tells him to. Continue until all of the activities have been completed. Activity suggestions: Hopping one one foot, walking backwards, walking on tiptoes, walking on heels, skipping, galloping, two foot jumping, somersaults, skipping backwards, side stepping, grapevine walking (also known as karaoke), running, marching, crab walking, and bear walking.
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-Gather a few friends and make it a true relay by passing off the torch once the lap is completed. See if the “team” can complete the entire relay under a certain amount of time.
-Throw a strengthening activity in before each movement activity. For instance, have your child complete 3 sit-ups before picking the next ribbon from the torch.
-Need some work on number recognition? Put a number on each ribbon and have your child do that many repetitions of a designated exercise (e.g. if they draw a number 5, they need to hop on one foot 5 times)
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Gross motor skills, coordination, motor control, proprioception, cognitive skills
Want to take a closer look at the skills kids are using in this activity? Check out our Clinical Closeup page, where we break down the skills listed below in terms everyone can understand.