Ideas for Physical Play

Physical Play Ideas

BALLOON BALL

Ingredients:
An air-filled balloon or beach ball
A broomstick or row of pillows

Prep Time:
5 minutes

Recipe for fun!
Lay a broomstick or row of pillows on the floor to act as the ‘net.’ Have your child hit the balloon over the ‘net,’ then run to the other side to hit it back before it touches the ground. Score 1 each time your child hits the ball without it hitting the floor. If two children, have them hit the ball over the ‘net.’ The game ends when the ball hits the floor. The child who hit that ball wins.

  • Physical
    Physical Skills
  • Social
    Social Skills
  • Creativty
    Communication Skills
Green Dots

ANIMAL IMITATION GAME

Ingredients:
Imagination

Prep Time:
1 minute

Recipe for fun!
Pretend to be different animals! Slither like a snake, move like a lion on all fours, stomp around like an elephant, move sideways like a crab, hop like a kangaroo. Some additional twists: turn the game into animal charades - no sounds aloud! For children who read, write the names of different animals on index cards.

  • Physical
    Physical Skills
  • Creativity & Imagination
    Creativity & Imagination
  • Critical Thinking
    Cognitive Abilities

Green Dots

HOUSEWORK HUSTLE

Ingredients:
Music with a danceable beat
Chores

Prep Time:
1 minute

Recipe for fun!
Clean it like you mean it. Crank up some favorite tunes and have kids dance to the music as they dust, straighten, put their toys away, make the bed, help with the dishes or do any other chore.

  • Physical
    Physical Skills
  • Creativity & Imagination
    Creativity & Imagination

Green Dots

STORYTIME STRETCH

Ingredients:
Book or story with single word repetition
A storyteller

Prep Time:
1 minute

Recipe for fun!
Reading to a child or group of children? Choose a book where a single word is repeated often. Then have kids jump up, stretch, or do some other exaggerated physical movement every time they hear the word. Word recognition as activity. Who knew!?

  • Physical
    Physical Skills
  • Creativty
    Communication Skills
  • Critical Thinking
    Cognitive Abilities

Green Dots

HOT POTATO

Ingredients:
Music
A small beanbag, a raw potato, a ball or a stuffed sock
Imagination

Prep Time:
5 minutes

Recipe for fun!
Arrange everyone in a circle. If just two players, sit facing each other. Pass the beanbag around the circle (or back and forth) to music, pretending that the beanbag is a steaming hot potato. When the music stops, the person holding the beanbag is out. Start the music again and resume the same passing play with the remaining players until the music stops. The last person in the circle is the winner.

  • Physical
    Physical Skills
  • Creativty
    Creativity & Imagination

Green Dots

CRAB CRAWL

Ingredients:
None

Prep time:
2 minutes

Recipe for fun!
This one takes a demonstration from an adult (while helping to firm your triceps, shoulders, back, abs, hamstrings, upper legs, quadriceps!). Show your child how to walk like a crab: hands and feet on the floor, stomach facing up. Once they can do it, see if your child can balance something on their stomach (a bag of beans, an empty cup, stuffed animals) while they move. If more than one child is playing, they can race to a marked finish line.

  • Physical
    Physical Skills
  • Social
    Social Skills

Green Dots

KICK THE CAN

Ingredients:
A large, empty can or bucket to be kicked

Prep time:
2 minutes

Recipe for fun!
Choose one person to be “IT” and a "home base" for the children to gather (when playing outside, a fire hydrant or familiar tree are great spots). Place the can in a safe, open space. To start, have IT count to 50 with his/her eyes closed while the other players hide. Upon opening their eyes, IT should start searching for the hiders.

When IT finds a hider, he/she calls out the player's name and that player goes to jail (home base). Another player can risk capture to save jailbirds by kicking over the can and calling out "Home Free" without getting tagged by IT, after which the jailbirds are free to run and hide from IT again. The game continues until everyone has been captured. If jailbreaks keep the game going too long, the first person caught 3 times becomes IT and a new game begins.

  • Physical
    Physical Skills
  • Social
    Social Skills
  • Creativty
    Communication Skills

Green Dots

ANIMAL WALKS

Ingredients:
None

Prep time:
None

Does your child like to pretend? Well, this is a great game that lets them use their imaginations to become any animal they like. Just call out the name of an animal and have each child pretend to walk like that animal. Maybe they’re a bear walking through the forest, a crab walking on the sand, a snake slithering along the desert floor, a frog jumping from lily pad to lily pad! Wild, right?

  • Physical
    Physical Skills
  • Creativty
    Creativity & Imagination
  • Creativty
    Communication Skills

Green Dots

By: The Pediatric Therapy Center

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