This activity was initially created for older children in a large group setting but we think it can be modified to do at home or with a group of your child’s friends to get some physical activity happening even on an indoor day!
The FitBall works by having children pass around a ball with a number of physical activity commands, when given a cue they will stop passing the ball, and the person holding the ball will determine a physical activity for all kids to perform by looking at the activity closest to their right thumb (or some other indicator you can determine).
Here are the directions in more detail:
- First, you need to create a FitBall! A colourful beach ball will do as it is light and large enough to write on. Once you have inflated the ball, add physical activities to it by writing them in sharpie on the ball. Our source (given below) suggests the following, but really you can pick whatever activities suite you, and simpler ones if your child is younger.
- 5 squats
- 10 toe touches
- 10 arm circles
- run in place for 10 counts
- 5 push ups
- stork stand (stand on each leg alone for 5 counts)
- 5 side to side jumps
- 5 jumping jacks
- 10 sit ups
- butterfly sit (hold for 10 counts)
- 10 lunges (alternating legs)
- 10 shoulder rolls
- side arm stretch
- 5 forward and backward jumps
- 5 jumps to the sky
- hop on 1 foot (5 hops per foot)
- upward arm stretch (hold for 10 counts)
- Once your FitBall is made with the number and kinds of activities you want on it, you need to determine how you are going to play the game. For a larger group, the suggestion is to play music, pass the ball around and designate someone as the DJ who stops the music to signal the person with the ball to select an activity. If your group is smaller (say just you and your child(ren)), it may not be as easy to designate a DJ to stop and start the music, in which case you may want to yourself just say “stop” whenever you feel, or toss the ball up and determine an activity based on the way it lands.
- Either way, whenever you select an activity on the ball, everyone in the group is supposed to do the activity, and then the process repeats.
- And that’s all there is to it!
Why we like this activity:
- We like this activity because it is important to keep children moving in order for them to not only effectively use some of that extensive energy they have, but also to develop gross motor skills, and to develop an interest in physical activity which becomes increasingly essential in later years of their lives.