nature walk & obstacle course

Get Moving Monday will have 2-3 ideas for you to use throughout the week to get your kids, yourself or your family all moving and off the couch! Some weeks will strictly be for your children and other weeks will focus on workouts you could do at home while they are napping or between commercials while you watch your favorite TV show. I have an 18 month old and a 3 year old so the kids activities will be geared towards that age group, but there should be ways to make things easier/harder for older and younger kids.

I’m a planner. I like to have my week planned out on Sunday with meals, crafts and activities to do with the girls. Does this happen every week? Heck no. But it’s always fun when it does and I’m making a more conscious effort to try. Just like when I was teaching and would have my lesson plan for the week I feel more productive at home when I have a plan as well. I could never find a website where they were all in one place each week so I’m doing that part for you. Monday’s I will post”Get Moving” and Wednesday’s I will post “What Can We Make” where there will be 2-3 themed crafts you could do.

Walk with Egg Carton Nature Box
I found the idea for this egg carton nature box off of Pinterest (where else?) I can’t remember the exact site but I knew it would be a hit and easy to do.
I spray painted an egg carton white and then we painted the holes rainbow colors and let them dry. I had Norah help me do polka dots on the outside of the box to add some more color. Now you have the perfect vessel to talk about colors, matching, and whatever other discussions will happen while you are outside exploring. Bundle up the kiddos and take off outside and look for things that match each color and put them in the appropriate spot in the egg carton. With two of each color it actually works great for two kids because they can each have a side. If they were older and competitive you could make it a game who could fill it up the fastest by leaving the egg carton in one spot and they have to run back with their colored item to fill up their side.
Some of the colors are harder to find so you just get creative (a small piece of blue plastic? perfect!) This time of year there are so many beautiful red, orange, and yellow leaves where we are living that you should be able to find everything easily. If you don’t live where you can just go out your door and do this then take them to a park or somewhere else were you  can get out and walk and let your kids get a little dirty picking stuff up and exploring the big, beautiful world around them. I was having issues importing my pictures so I wasn’t able to show my “after” picture with the egg carton full of our goodies we found, but they really got into trying to fill each space and Norah was very observant to the colors around her while we were outside.
Indoor Obstacle Course
This isn’t a new invention or something that requires special equipment; sometimes we just need a reminder to use what we have as a way to let kids get energy out and move. I know I’ll be using this throughout the coming winter months when we can’t get outside to burn off some energy. Will your living room get a little messy? Yes. But they’ll have fun and you’ll be able to make them use different motor skills to go through whatever kind of course you design.
  • Crawl over pillows (as many as you want)
  • Crawl under a chair or a bench
  • Through a tunnel (I bought one at Target awhile ago and it was a great purchase!)
  • Tip-Toe Walk on a jump rope (Or a piece of yarn, string or shoelace – just something skinny they could try to walk on).
  • Crawl into a big cardboard box (Thank you Amazon for shipping my diapers).

 Just use what you have and think about ways they could use their body to move over, under, through, around or jump, hop, roll, slide. Just by watching them try it you’ll probably be inspired for something new to add to it! Have your camera handy too – you never know what you might capture.

Turkey Strut
I had to have something turkey themed for this week. I found this idea just be searching “thanksgiving movement ideas” and it was an answer on Yahoo questions here. Dancing and music are a big hit in our house and I think they’d get a kick out of this. Norah already does something similar with lily pads in her ballet class so I think she’d catch on to the concept pretty quickly. And Stella will just want to follow her big sister so they might end up sharing feet which is fine too.
Use pieces of masking tape to make turkey footprints all over the floor. Start playing music and have kids pretend to be turkeys and strut around the room. When you stop the music, have them find footprints to stand on (try for one child to a footprint) When you start the music again, have the “turkeys” continue strutting about the room. This will be good focus on following directions, sharing, and moving. I might even try to find different music tempos and see if I can have them move slow or fast like the music. If they were older you could also change the way they had to move each time i/e jumping, skipping, crawling, all while still trying to strut like a turkey. 
Remember the goal here is that we want our kids to move! We want them to be comfortable running, skipping, hopping, acting silly (show them how to strut like a turkey yourself and the sillier the better!), exploring and appreciating the world outside of t.v. and all the technology we are bombarded with every day.

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