Children's Exercise Guide: School-aged Kids 6-8 Years Old
Games you and your babysitter can do with kids that will boost their heart rate, keep them entertained and inspire healthy habits.
The NASPE guidelines for activities for children aged 5 to 12 regarding exercise, sport, dance, and other movement state:
- One hour or more of moderate and vigorous physical activity on most or all days.
- Participate in several bouts of physical activity of 15 minutes or more each day.
- Avoid periods of inactivity of 2 hours or more.
Dr. Avery Feigenbaum, a pediatric exercise scientist with 20 years of experience working with children and adolescents, and Professor in the Health and Exercise Science Department of the College of New Jersey inspired the following Balloon Move and Play. He added: "Children are not miniature adults, and need a completely different approach. Balloons invoke a natural desire to play in children. They provide essential fun, and a bridge between the skill and challenge that kids need to exercise. With balloons, it's not seen as exercise; it's a game."
Game: Balloon Move and Play
Description: Balloons are held (and used as playful props) while squatting, lunging, and moving in different directions to enhance muscle strength, agility, balance, and coordination.
TIP: Regular balloons are okay, but Punch balloons are even better, as they tend not to burst as easily and don't make a loud noise when they pop which can frighten children.
- Warm up. Use five minutes to march in place, do jumping jacks, or put on music and dance around.
- Balloon Stepping. Put obstacle on floor and have kids hold balloon in one hand while they lunge (Take a big step) over object. Could use anything: plates, stools, tape marks. Five steps forward, five back.
- Balloon Hop. Create stepping stones for balancing as you hop there and back, holding a balloon. Use rings, hula hoops, or tape marks.
- Balloon Skip. Place chairs, buckets, or other objects out for children to run or skip around with balloon.
- Balloon Sit-to-Stand. Child sits on chair holding balloon. Parent shouts 'Stand up' and child stands and taps balloon with their other hand, sits back down. Do this 10 times.
- Balloon Sit-to-Stand with Jump. After child stands, child jumps up and reaches toward ceiling, lands back on his feet. Sits back down. Do this 5 or 10 times.
- Balloon Core Balance. Child is on hands and knees, palms under their shoulders. Hand them a balloon and ask them to write their name in the air with it. (Or spell some words, cat, dog, etc.) Switch hands. Do this twice.
Physical and Mental Skills Include:
- Development of Body Awareness; a sense of their bodies in relation to the objects and space around them.
- Muscular strength from squatting, lunging, jumping, and hopping
- Improved balance
- Core strength and stability
- Movement agility
- Mind-body coordination by balancing and spelling at the same time
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