One of our favorite Valentines ideas last year was our free printable Heart Jump game. It was such a hit that we felt compelled to come up with a new gross motor game this Valentine’s Day!
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When I saw a bunch of $3 yoga mats at the store, I knew that they would be perfect for creating a new activity for the kiddos I work with at school. Yoga mats are great for cutting into shapes that can be used on the floor as targets for jumping, hopping, throwing, etc. The resistive rubber keeps them from sliding underfoot!
I came up with this conversation heart jump gross motor game that will get kids moving while also using their cognitive skills for patterning, sequencing, and reading.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
-Cheap yoga mats that you don’t mind cutting up
-A piece of paper
-A permanent marker
–Conversation hearts candies
WHAT TO DO:
Cut a heart template from your piece of paper. Use the template to cut your yoga mats into heart shapes — you’ll need about 10.
Once you have your heart shapes cut out, pour out a handful of conversation hearts and get to work copying a phrase from the hearts on each of your yoga mat hearts. Be sure to set aside the conversation hearts that you took your phrases from. You will need them!
Once your yoga mat hearts are ready to go, lay the candy hearts out on a table face down. If you are playing with a younger child, have them start by picking 2 candy hearts.
Lay the hearts side by side in the order that they were picked and have your child read them and then hop on the matching yoga mat hearts in the same sequence.
If the candy hearts say: “Be Mine” and “Kiss Me”, your child would first jump on the Be Mine yoga mat heart and then the Kiss Me heart.
The more conversation hearts the child chooses – the bigger the challenge!
Here’s the game in action:
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-You may have to let the yoga mat hearts sit under the weight of some books overnight to flatten them out.
-If your child is not quite ready for reading, cut out some paper hearts in the same colors as your yoga mat hearts. Make up different sequences of colors for her to jump to (i.e. pink, purple, purple, pink, blue).
-Play this game Twister style and see if your child can touch each yoga mat heart with a body part in the same order of the candy hearts they chose. Can they get all of them without falling over?
-Hop, jump, jump backwards, leap, stand on one foot for 5 seconds on each heart, be creative with how you challenge your child to play this game!
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Gross motor skills, balance, proprioception, coordination, cognitive skills
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