Cool weather games for preschoolers are fun

Sabin, Davis, Hetrick, Anderegg, Macalady, Walker, Darling and Katers

Young children need daily exercise, especially during long stretches of dreary days. Daily exercise helps develop the large muscles in their arms, legs, trunk, and sets the stage for a healthy lifestyle.

Keep the following items handy: a beach ball, large pail, wrapping paper tubes, large storage container, paper plates, and marker.

Learning to catch

Catching a ball with young children begins on the floor rolling a small slightly soft beach ball back and forth with your legs shaped like a V to enclose the ball. The soft beach ball helps children grip the ball and won’t damage the house. Start close together and move farther and farther apart keeping the experience successful. Stay on the floor and gently throw and catch guiding the ball into their arms. Show children how to place arms and hands to catch.

Children can graduate to sitting on the couch so the ball lands in easy reach when they miss. Next stand very close together and ease the ball into your children’s arms. Gradually move farther apart.

Some children will be ready to learn and learn quickly. Others may not be ready as children learn at different rates. When your child has mastered catching like this, count or say the ABC’S, as you catch.

Beach ball sports

Who needs a beach? Throw a beach ball into a laundry basket to play basketball or tap a ball back and forth for volleyball.

Playing kickball is a good way to start running bases. Make numbered bases out of paper plates taped to the floor. Practice running around the bases together and tap each one as you say its number. Soccer can also be played indoors. For an indoor soccer net, turn a large plastic storage container on its side.

Bowling is easy with a few plastic containers and an old ball that has lost some of its air. To play indoor hockey, or golf, hit a ball with a wrapping paper tube reinforced with tape.

Some other active games include Twister. Call out colors to jump on. There are also many variations of freeze tag, if you have room. When tagged call out a number, color, letter, geography feature, or story character when tagged. You can close the curtains and play flashlight tag.

Families can also set up an obstacle course with cushions, pillows, chairs and blankets. Children can crawl around and try to beat their best time. You can add a little math by making a chart of their times. These obstacle courses are fun, expend a lot of energy, and easy to pick up.

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