I love playing fun, active games with my munchkins and they love it too! No matter the time of year, they love to move and I love that they work on developing their gross motor skills. Being active in the winter time in Indiana takes a lot of creativity. You can often find us doing some of my toddler energy burners (Part I & Part 2). When there is a holiday coming up, it is a fun time to change it up by simply introducing a game with a theme, a fun twist or simply changing the materials to go with the holiday.
I am no supermom (as stated in my Confessions of a Mom post) and I often get frustrated when I see awesome things on pinterest because really, “WHO has the time to make that?” I like things that can be done without buying a bunch (if any additional supplies) and a big bonus if I can do it right then and there with everything I have in my house.
C has really into identifying right and left lately. Whenever we are in the car she says, “Mom, will our house be on the right or the left?” Sometimes she even says, “Mom, you just turned left.” I thought this twister game would be a fun activity to practice right and left, add in some active play and combine some letter identification. And of course, games are always good for following directions. This Homemade Twister has a little twist to it and it was a blast!
DIY Valentine Twister
I made this game with basic things I had at home. and C loved playing this. M was still a little young, but he enjoyed marching around and stomping his feet on the hearts.
All it takes to make this game is: construction paper, scissors & tape! I know you have all of that at your house. No construction paper, no problem? Have your munchkin pick three colors to color the hearts.
I cut out 12 hearts using three different colors. You can always cut out more and add more colors if you would like. This was the perfect amount for C, but if I had older kids or more kids playing I might do more. If you are feeling extra fancy, you can always get those foam hearts that you find at craft stores. Once I was done, I taped the hearts on the floor and set up our Twister.
No Spinner, No Problem
I didn’t have any good way to make a spinner and my creative juices were not flowing. Instead, I made little cards to draw from. The cards had the same chances as the spinner. I created four for each color: right hand, right foot, left hand, left foot.
Each card contained either a hand or a foot (I am no artist) and either an R or and L, which gave C some letter identification practice.
In addition there were also exercise cards in the mix. If you drew a white card you stepped off of to the side and completed the exercise on the card. There were four of these cards that consisted of: 5 hops left foot, 5 hops right foot, 4 frog hops or 3 burpees. She actually liked drawing these white cards because it gave her a break and she loves to count he reps!
There was no winner to this game, we just played until she got bored and was ready to do something else. Once we were done I picked it up and will save it to play later on this week.
The best thing about not spending much time or money on a game like this is that I don’t feel like I have to hang onto it. Once we are done playing it this week, I will throw it away and make a new one next year. There is no reason to have one more thing cluttering my house.
I will also use the back of the hearts for some other gross motor actives this week. I love the idea of musical hearts below and I know both C & M will love that as well as the other activities I have found around the web.
Other Valentine Gross Motor Skill Activities
Hop A Pop
I love this idea! I can’t tell you how much both of my kids love hopping on the bubble wrap whenever we get anything that contains it. All you need to do is keep those hearts from your DIY Twister game and put them under here and you have hours (okay maybe minutes) of entertainment.
You could also set up hopscotch with the bubble wrap over it and that would make it super fun!
I love this game! You can use those exact same hearts and pick your own activities for the hearts, play some music, and when the music stops, your munchkin completes the movement or exercise on the heart.
Or you could simply take away the hearts and have a dance party. Play some music, stop it and make them freeze. I loved this game as a kid!
The best thing about these three activities is that it can be changed up to fit any holiday or season. You can also change it up by switching out your activities or exercises. All three of these activities provide fun, movement, and both positive physical and mental development for your munchkins. I am sure this will be a part of our afternoon routine this week.
Oh and if you are on Pinterest, follow me for more fun activities I like to do with my munchkins– of course ones that are simple, of course!
Your turn- tell me!
How do you like to stay active with your munchkins?
What is your favorite gross motor activity?