6 Creative Indoor P.E. Activities for K-5 Students
Winter is here, and that means it’s the perfect time to stay inside, keeping warm by the fire or under a heap of blankets. But for growing online students, staying inside all winter can mean plenty of pent-up energy.
The best way to keep your student from getting bored and restless during the chilly months of winter is to engage him or her in some indoor physical education activities. These activities can break up the school day or keep your child busy on the weekends. Most importantly, they offer a fun way to stay fit during the long winter months.
Check out these six indoor activities for kids listed below to find one you’d like to try at home.
1. Balloon Juggling
Balloon juggling promotes movement and hand-eye coordination. The challenge is to keep balloons in the air as long as possible without letting them drop to the floor.
This activity requires three balloons. Starting with just one, encourage your student to keep the balloon in the air. Once he or she has mastered keeping one balloon in the air, challenge him or her to try juggling two.
If just working with one balloon, have the student try to perform other physical tasks once it’s in the air. The goal is to complete the action before the balloon falls to the floor. For example, once the balloon is in the air, ask your student to do five jumping jacks before touching it again.
2. Exercise Signs
This is an activity that promotes exercise throughout the day. Using paper or cardstock, create a series of signs, each of which describes a brief activity. Place these signs around the home in areas that are frequently visited by the student, asking him or her to complete the activity before moving on. For example, a sign at the bottom of a set of stairs might read, “Do 20 jumping jacks before climbing the stairs.” A sign on the refrigerator might ask the student to “Do 15 crunches before opening the refrigerator door.” You can leave the signs up all day or just during a portion of the day. You may also choose to switch out signs with new ones to try a wider variety of exercises.
3. Stepping Stones
Give your student a few items from around the home to be used as “stepping stones,” and ask your child to cross a room (the “lake”) in the home. Examples of stepping stones include towels, pillows, old t-shirts, oven mitts, rubber mats, or anything which you deem safe to jump on. Students must strategically place their stepping stones on the floor and then carefully leap from one stone to another in order to safely cross the “lake.”
Once your student is able to cross the room, challenge him or her by taking away a stone or two. See how few stones your child needs to cross without touching the floor.
4. Preposition Obstacle Course
This is an activity that gets kids moving while reinforcing common prepositions used in everyday communication. To get started, map out an obstacle course inside the home, making sure that each part of the course includes a preposition. Examples of movements to include are:
- Crawl under the table
- Hop around the chair
- Skip across the kitchen floor
- Jump over the pillow
- Crabwalk along the sofa
- Walk down the stairs
- Leap toward the door
As students perform each movement, have them say what they are doing out loud, including the preposition. You might need to prompt younger students to help them remember all of the movements within the obstacle course.
5. Water Weights
This is an activity in which students create their own “weights” by filling milk jugs with water. Start by filling the jug a quarter of the way full, and then once your student progresses, he or she can fill it halfway or more. Have your child try a variety of exercises while holding a jug in each hand. Examples include:
- Power walking
- Side bends
- Pressing the milk jugs above the head (with adult supervision, if needed)
Encourage kids to chart their progress by recording how much water they put in the jugs each time they are used, and how many repetitions of each exercise they are able to perform before needing a break. Just make sure your student doesn’t do too many repetitions, which could lead to muscle strain.
6. Coin Collection
This is an activity that integrates movement with math. Before starting the activity, spread coins throughout a room within the home. Instruct your student to collect as many as he or she can in a given time period, such as 1–3 minutes. Once time is up, your student should add up the change and record the total amount. Repeat this process several times, with the goal of increasing the amount collected each time.
Adults should consider placing coins of higher value in challenging spots. For older kids, place coins in places other than on the floor, so that they must jump or exert extra effort to get to them.
What are some other activities you like to do with your child during the winter? Let us know.