Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"Gym Class" using craft supplies

Once a week, Luke attends a local kid's gym. The facility is full of equipment for jumping, climbing, swinging, rolling, balancing - you get the picture. Despite a few social hang-ups, he loves so much about this place. His personal favorites are climbing (they have a climbing station full of ladders, planks, and even a little "rock" wall), jumping on their long trampoline, the huge foam pit, and everyone's favorite - the bounce house.

As I said, he only goes once a week, for a 45 minute class. It usually makes for a great day because the exercise inspires him to eat a good lunch and take a great nap! We started getting a little more activity in our lives a few weeks ago when the weather soared to unseasonable highs (70's & low 80's!) for this part of the country. Unfortunately, the temps went back to normal (40's & 50's, blech!)...so our time spent outside is again few & far between. We all get a little stir crazy in the winter & early spring, and after a taste of summer - we're more than ready for some more movement!

One day last week, after being cooped up from being sick, Luke was getting antsy. He'd pulled out some foam sheets and asked if there was a project we could do. I started racking my brain for an idea, but when he started placing them on the floor as he went back to grab more - my train of thought went from crafts to exercise. We may not have the equipment his kid's gym has, but we could certainly get creative with craft supplies!

I took the foam sheets & arranged them in a circle, and then in a winding path, and then in a square, and an oval. Each time I instructed him on how to jump from sheet to sheet - sometimes having to jump over an obstacle, or balance across the couch (the seat, not the back - don't worry!). He had SO much fun doing this! He jumped over and over again, and later in the day - he set the sheets up himself for more jumping!

While I personally felt like this was a brilliant idea (athankyou), I feel like I should warn you in case you attempt to try something similar. Do not do this with construction paper if you don't have any foam - it is too slippery, and chances are - your little one will slide across the carpet and fall on his or her bum! The foam has a little more grip to it, but it's not perfect. So please be careful!



I'm sure there are many other craft supplies that can be used for indoor "gym class", and I hope to discover some of them myself. Jumping over pipe cleaners? Masking tape on the floor for balance beams? Masking tape hopscotch? Luke's gonna love it!

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