Let’s Move, Let’s Play!

[ 2 ] September 15, 2011 |

By Megan Fischer, Director of Communications, Providence Children’s Museum

Providence Children’s Museum is a proud new member of Let’s Move! a comprehensive national initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama that is dedicated to solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation by encouraging healthy eating and physical activity. Active play is an important part of children’s healthy growth and development and the Museum is committed to offering interactive play and learning experiences that promote physical activity, and to providing parents with resources about nurturing kids’ growth through play.

Many kids have plenty of opportunities for active play — especially outdoors — during the summer.  To ensure they keep moving during the school year, here are some playful ideas contributed by the Museum’s educators:

  • Strike a pose.  With a friend, take turns forming funny positions and different shapes with your bodies.  Trace each other’s outlines (with chalk on pavement, marker on paper, or a stick in the sand or dirt).
  • Follow the leader — as animals!  The leader hops like a frog, crawls like a crab or slithers like a snake.  Everyone else does the same and tries to guess what kind of animal they have become.
  • Create an obstacle course in your house or backyard, with things to hop or climb over and tunnels to wriggle through.  Or build a fort with sheets, furniture and cardboard boxes.  Or make a mini-golf course with objects found around the house.
  • Have crazy challenge races — playful competitions where the object is to complete a challenge in the shortest time possible.  For example, run to the other side of the room or yard, put on all the clothes in a box and run back.  Make challenges more difficult by running backward or hopping on one leg.
  • Don’t put the beach ball away just yet!  See how long you can keep it bouncing in the air before it hits the ground.  Also find out how many times you can hula hoop or jump rope without stopping.
  • Play balloon volleyball (with or without a net) or make rackets using paper plates and rulers for a game of balloon badminton.  Try each game outside or in a roomy indoor space.
  • Strreeettch!  Stretching feels good and it can be done standing, sitting or lying down.  Start small with wriggling fingers and toes or with simple reaches and twists.  Make sound effects or sing a song to accompany each stretch.
  • Move to the music.  Play several styles and make up different dances.  Or try games of freeze dance or musical chairs.
  • Take a hike!  If it’s close enough, walk to school together instead of driving.

Providence Children’s Museum offers more great ways to keep kids moving this fall.  Look for “Let’s Move, Let’s Play!” programs on the calendar  plus explore the Museum’s play and learning environments  with a new “Let’s Move!” physical activity sheet.  Happy playing!

Category: play, Providence Children's Museum


Children's Museum

about the author ()

The mission of Providence Children's Museum is to inspire and celebrate learning through active play and exploration. The Museum creates and presents interactive play and learning environments and hands-on programs for children ages 1 - 11 and their families. Located in Providence's Jewelry District. Museum educators and other staff contribute monthly articles about topics related to children's play and learning. Articles advocate for the importance of play to children's healthy development and are full of great ideas and resources, activities to try at home, and much more. For additional ideas and resources, visit the Museum's website and blog. Also join the conversation about the need for play on the Museum-hosted PlayWatch listserv (http://www.playwatch.org/).

Comments (2)

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  1. Margaret says:

    Excellent ideas! I can always use more creative ways to get us moving and having fun, thank you once again!

  2. Thanks, Megan. It’s always great to hear from you folks at the Providence Children’s Museum!

    Can’t help but mention that if you and your family want some advice, tips, and suggestions on where to hike, please visit http://www.rifamiliesinnature.org/. It’s free and a lot of fun!

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