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“Get your motors running, head out on the highway”…do you know this song? Sorry, couldn’t resist. It’s time for a little gross motor fun with a transportation twist. Let’s do some tire runs to get your heart rate up and your muscles working hard.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Hula hoops — Don’t have hula hoops or don’t have enough of them? No worries! Just draw “tires” with chalk on the sidewalk or driveway.
WHAT TO DO: Use the patterns below to help guide the layout of hoops for this obstacle course-style activity. Place the “tires” (hula hoops) as shown and then have your child maneuver through them as directed in the instructions below. You can let your imagination run wild here! There are endless combinations for gross motor fun, coordination and agility!
In pattern 1, have your child jump with his feet together but one foot landing in each tire (like a bunny hop with your legs spread a little wider). Next, try one foot at a time as if he is running but making sure to hit every tire along the way with either his right or left foot (this is the classic football tire run!). Vary the distances between the hoops for greater challenge.
In pattern 2, jump with two feet together, landing in each hoop. Then see if your child can try hopping on one foot in each hoop (first with the left foot then with the right).
For pattern 3, try jumping and hopping just like in pattern 2 but in diagonal patterns. TRICKY!! Your child can also try leaping from hoop to hoop in this pattern!
Pattern 4 is classic hopscotch. One foot then two feet then one then two. You could try placing a toy in one of the tires and asking your child to go around that tire before picking it up on his way back — just like the real game!
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-Hula hoops might be too big of a challenge for our littlest friends. Try using circles cut from construction paper or paper places as the “tires” to give kids less distance to travel on their way through the course.
-Try playing “Red Light, Green Light” during this activity. If they are hopping or jumping, can they stop on command and hold the position for an extra balance challenge?
-You can do this in any direction (backwards, sideways) and you can always set up two tire courses side by side to make it a race and double the fun!
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Motor control, balance, coordination, gross motor skills