Family Time Calendar: Get Moving - iVillage

You can create a custom playground -- indoors or out -- using everyday objects around the house. Use the following ideas to create a course that challenges kids to move over, under, around and through.

Let the kids help you design this course with as many design details as they like. This is a great activity to help small children learn these important motor skills.

To make it more challenging for older children, add specific instructions, such as hopping through the entire course or doing it all on their hands and knees.

  • Over: Use a lawn recliner with the back completely down to crawl over. Kids can also step or climb over footstools, chair cushions or small toys. If you have a swing set with a slide, have kids climb up and slide down.
  • Under: Some yards have bushes or low trees that are great for climbing under. Drape a blanket or beach towel across two chairs to crawl under. Crawl under a table.
  • Around: Set up chairs and tables to run around. Lay a rope on the ground in a squiggly line and let kids "walk the line." Select a tree in your yard to run around. (Specify how many times.)
  • Through: Set up lawn chairs in a straight line to create a tunnel to crawl through. Tie a hula hoop from a rope and hang it from a tree or swing set. Push out both ends of a large empty box to create a tunnel to crawl through.
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