Introducing young children to basic skills in physical fitness is a sure way to prepare them for organized sports when they reach elementary age. When planning summer games for preschool, take into account the structure of children’s bodies to introduce activities that are best suited for their age and development. Young children will learn physical activities in their own way and at their own pace – so don’t rush it. When the children in your group partake in a game or sport, use encouraging statements about their abilities. Avoid comparing the child to anyone else. Try to play games where everyone has a turn and everyone is a winner. Here are a few outdoor summer games your children will enjoy.
Prepare these fun and creative racquets for pretend tennis and racquetball. It’s a simple game that will use all those large muscles.
- Wire clothes hanger
Leg from pantyhose
- Wire twist tie
- Foam ball or rolled socks
- Stretch a wire clothes hanger into a diamond shape.
- Pull up a pantyhose leg over the frame.
- Tie the end with a wire twist tie (the ones found with garbage bags).
- Squeeze the hanger circle shut and tape securely to make a safe handle.
- To play, invite the children to bat a foam ball or rolled up socks with the nylon racquet.
- Each child can swing and hit the ball alone or find a partner and try to volley the ball back and forth.
Sure, Frisbee disks can be bought, but why not make your own? A Frisbee can be made from the plastic lid of a coffee can or a frozen food container. Ask parents to save and bring in these recyclables. Invite the children to decorate their Frisbee as they wish with markers, crayons, and/or stickers.
Here are a few ways to play with a Frisbee:
- Throw the Frisbee through a cardboard box with a large "window" cut out.
- Throw the Frisbee and try to knock over paper cups that are lined up.
- Throw Frisbees and try to land on a designated spot, such as an X marked on the sidewalk.
Milk Jug Toss
Turn milk or juice gallon jugs into scoops for a simple game of toss and catch.
- A gallon jug per child
- Masking tape
- Craft knife (adults only)
- Cut two inches off the bottom of the gallon jug (adults only).
- Cover the rough edges with masking tape.
- Use soft rubber balls or make a recycled ball by crumpling up newspaper and wrapping it with masking tape.
- Invite the child to hold the handle of the jug and place the ball inside the scoop. Throw the ball out and then try to catch it again inside the scoop.
- Have two children try to play toss and catch with their jug scoops.
- After they have mastered this skill, challenge them to step back each time for a longer distance.
- Ask the children to count how many times they can toss the ball and catch it without dropping it.
- Always praise the children for their efforts.
- Photo credit: Cindy’s photo gallery http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3055136990/sizes/l/