Has the rainy weather got you down? Is your child/children desperate to move around and play? Are you stuck indoors without any ideas on how to keep your child active and healthy? Well never fear! Here is a list of some of my favourite indoor activities which can be played in any space however small, including even an adorably cosy-sized Hong Kong apartment. All of these activities are fun, focus on at least one key area of physical development, and require little to no equipment to play.
1. Balloon Juggling - Particularly good with the younger crowd (3-7yrs), balloon juggling is a fun activity that focuses on hand eye coordination and gross-motor skill development. The activity is simple and straightforward - first you need to blow up some balloons, around 1-3 per juggler. Then you start playing. The idea is to try and keep your balloon(s) floating in the air for as long as possible, and you can use any body part to do this. To make it more difficult, challenge your children to add in skills and tricks such as clapping or spinning - how many claps can you do before the balloon drops? Can you clap behind your back? This game is all about creativity and focus and can be a great way to play safely with your child indoors.
2. Slow Motion Racing - On your marks, get set, gooooooo (said very slowly). Slow-motion racing is a great activity designed to get your child moving their bodies with control and purpose, advancing their muscular development through increased ‘time under tension’, all the while maintaining the fun and excitement of an actual race. The finish line could be anywhere - whether it be across the room or just a few steps in front of you. For best results and increased dramatic effect, play the song Chariots of Fire by Vangelis. To begin, have your racers start in a racing position while playing the song. Have them hold the start position until the beat kicks in. Once it does, you are off to the races! Be sure to encourage your child to use their whole body while running as slow as they can. Throughout the race, you can add instructions to make it more interesting. Some of my favourite racing additions include having students step over the lava rocks (large, high steps), or crawling under the electric fence (crawling) - and don’t forget the huge victory cheer at the end!
3. Giants, Wizards, and Elves - GWE takes rock, paper scissors to a whole new level. This quick but exciting game combines body movement and muscular development with critical thinking and decision-making skills. The game is played with at least two people, but there is no limit to how many people can join in. The rules are simple - all players start by standing back to back, facing away from each other. Players take turns counting down from 3. Once a player has counted down, each player must jump and turn into one of three options: a giant (tip toes with hands above your head), a wizard (knees bent mimicking a wand motion with one hand), or an Elf (squat down low to the ground with your hands over your ears). Remember - a giant beats a wizard, a wizard beats an elf, and elf beats a giant.
4. GoNoodle - GoNoodle is an interactive, web-based series of programs designed for getting your children moving indoors. With a huge selection of captivating and interactive videos to choose from, GoNoodle is an amazing indoor PE option for any type of space. With activities including great warm ups, indoor olympics competitions, and dance routines, GoNoodle has something for everyone. For me, the best part about GoNoodle is that all activities are timed, so you can actively monitor or limit your child’s time in front of the screen.
5. Speed Stacks (Cup Stacking) - Speed Stacks is an internationally recognised sport in which you use special stacking cups to build and break down towers as quickly as you can. If you’ve never heard of speed stacks before, check out this Youtube video here. An excellent activity for developing dexterity, fine motor skills and hand eye coordination, speed stacking is great for students of any age. Although there are some recognized stack formations used in speed stacking competitions, such as the 3-3-3 stack or the classic 10 cup ‘bowling’ stack, speed stacks provide a great opportunity for your child (and yourself) to use imagination while creating unique stacks of their own. What kind of tower can you build?
With a super typhoon forecasted to hit Hong Kong this weekend, it’ll be a good time to try out my suggestions. If you do, do take videos and share them with us!