September 7, 2008

Sports games for kids using water bottles

Active games aren't exactly my "profile", nevertheless I'd like to post some ideas about how to vary the jumping and running games using large empty plastic bottles (like 2 litre/67.60 fl oz ones). Those bottles have two advantages as an "apparatus": 1) there's a good chance that you already have them, 2) they are safe to play with. In any case, adult supervision is required for active games!

1. "Labyrinth" or "Slalom": set up some empty plastic bottles and zigzag between them. It's safe even if a bottle falls down: plastic bottles are light and rounded, they cannot injure.

2. Step or jump over lying bottles. If a child steps on a bottle, it just slips out or deflates. Remove the caps and the bottles will deflate easily. Put the bottles on a thick carpet or sand so that they don't roll away. I had to put two bottles in a row, because my kids tried to go around the bottles instead of jumping over them (yeah, that's much easier :).

3. An exercise for building coordination. Alternate stepping, place the bottles in staggered rows. Left, right, left, right...

4. Draw a string between two bottles and have kids stepping or jumping over it. As an option, they may also creep under the string. This exercise should be done on a soft mat or similar. Pour some water into the bottles and close the caps, this makes them steadier. The bottles are safe for this game, too: even if a child pulls the string, they just fall down without hurting anybody.

That's all for now. Just to remind you, adult supervision is required for small kids when they play active games.

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